Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

Indian Ocean Studies Series

“The importance of this field of studies has finally been recognized: the new Indian Ocean Studies Series…represents a strong move towards new studies on people with no voice, of new inter- and intra-disciplinary reconstructions and interpretations of a still under-researched area.”—Canadian Journal of African Studies

The Indian Ocean, once largely ignored by scholars, is now the focus of research that is transforming our understanding of this oceanic world’s past and present and its place in global history.

This series offers established and younger scholars from anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology the opportunity to publish conceptually and methodologically innovative studies on topics such as human migration, cultural and religious diversity, trade and commerce, imperialism and colonialism, and globalization.

By encouraging interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to social, economic, political, and cultural interactions within and beyond the Indian Ocean, both in the past and the present, the series’ monographs and edited collections make significant contributions to our understanding about the nature and dynamics of regional and pan-regional change.

Inquiries about manuscript proposals should be directed to the series editor, Richard B. Allen, at

Advisory Board Members

  • Edward A. Alpers, University of California, Los Angeles, Emeritus
  • Clare Anderson, University of Leicester
  • Fahad Ahmad Bishara, University of Virginia
  • Erik Gilbert, Arkansas State University
  • Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology Sydney
  • Hans Hägerdal, Linnaeus University
  • Pedro Machado, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Rila Mukherjee, University of Hyderabad
  • Burkhard Schnepel, Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg, Emeritus
  • Alicia Schrikker, Leiden University
  • Julia Verne, Johannes Gutenberg University
  • Kerry Ward, Rice University


Richard B. Allen

Cover of 'Yankees in the Indian Ocean'

Yankees in the Indian Ocean
American Commerce and Whaling, 1786–1860
By Jane Hooper

This unprecedented study of nineteenth-century American merchant and whaling activity in the Indian Ocean shows how it shaped later US imperial incursions in the Pacific and Caribbean. Sailors’ journals and other primary sources reveal American influence on the period’s global commerce, illegal slaving, and environmental degradation.

History | United States | 19th Century · History | Africa | East · History | Maritime History & Piracy · South Indian Ocean Islands · Indian Ocean Studies · Political Science | Imperialism

Cover of 'Cargoes in Motion'

Cargoes in Motion
Materiality and Connectivity across the Indian Ocean
Edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Julia Verne

Cargoes in Motion considers both the materiality and special trajectories of cargoes across the Indian Ocean world in order to better understand the processes of exchange and their economic, social, cultural, and political effects on the region.

History | Modern | General · Social Science | Anthropology | Cultural & Social · Eastern Africa · South Indian Ocean Islands · Middle East · South Asia · Indian Ocean Studies

Cover of 'Pearls, People, and Power'

Pearls, People, and Power
Pearling and Indian Ocean Worlds
Edited by Pedro Machado, Steve Mullins, and Joseph Christensen

Pearls, People, and Power is the first book to examine the trade, distribution, production, and consumption of pearls in the Indian Ocean over more than five centuries. Encompassing the geographical, cultural, and thematic diversity of Indian Ocean pearling, it deepens our appreciation of the historical dynamics of Indian Ocean worlds.

World and Comparative History · Indian Ocean Studies

Cover of 'Connecting Continents'

Connecting Continents
Archaeology and History in the Indian Ocean World
Edited by Krish Seetah

Connecting Continents addresses two issues: how to promote collaborative research, and how to shape the research agenda for a region only recently attracting serious interest from historical archaeologists exploring the dynamics of migration, colonization, and cultural syncretism central to understanding human experience in the Indian Ocean basin.

Archaeology · Indian Ocean Studies · World and Comparative History

Cover of 'Feeding Globalization'

Feeding Globalization
Madagascar and the Provisioning Trade, 1600–1800
By Jane Hooper

Between 1600 and 1800, the promise of fresh food attracted more than seven hundred English, French, and Dutch vessels to Madagascar. Throughout this period, European ships spent months at sea in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but until now scholars have not fully examined how crews were fed during these long voyages. Without sustenance from Madagascar, European traders would have struggled to transport silver to Asia and spices back to Europe.

World and Comparative History · African History · Slavery and Slave Trade · Economic History · African Studies · Madagascar · Indian Ocean Studies

Cover of 'Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean'

Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean
Islam, Marriage, and Sexuality on the Swahili Coast
Edited by Erin E. Stiles and Katrina Daly Thompson
· Afterword by Susan F. Hirsch

A breakthrough study of the underexamined lived experience of Islam, sexuality, and gender on the Swahili coast.

Gender Studies · Islam · Religion · Eastern Africa · Indian Ocean Studies · African Studies · Swahili

Cover of 'European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500–1850'

European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500–1850
By Richard B. Allen

Between 1500 and 1850, European traders shipped hundreds of thousands of African, Indian, Malagasy, and Southeast Asian slaves to ports throughout the Indian Ocean world. The activities of the British, Dutch, French, and Portuguese traders who operated in the Indian Ocean demonstrate that European slave trading was not confined largely to the Atlantic but must now be viewed as a truly global phenomenon.

Slavery and Slave Trade · World and Comparative History · Indian Ocean Studies