SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Indian Diaspora in the Indian Ocean Region Reflections on Migration, Settlement and Change

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Gijsbert Oonk
Professor Gijsbert Oonk (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Netherlands)

Date: 20 November 2014Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 20 November 2014Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar

Gijsbert Oonk will be talking about his book, Settled Strangers: Asian Business Elites in East Africa, 1800-2000, (Sage 2013)

Settled Strangers aims at understanding the social, economic and political evolution of the transnational migrant community of Gujarati traders and merchants in East Africa. The history of South Asians in East Africa is neither part of the mainstream national Indian history nor that of East African history writing. This is surprising, because South Asians in East Africa outnumbered the Europeans with ten to one. Moreover, their overall economic contribution and political significance may be more important than the history of the colonizers. This book is an attempt to provide some balance in the form of a history of the South Asians in East Africa through the lens of the actors themselves. It studies the kind of social, economic and political adjustments the emigrant Gujaratis had to make in the course of this migration. By using insights from the social sciences, including concepts like cultural capital, family firm, transnationality, middleman minorities and cultural change, this book aims to achieve a broader understanding of communities that do not belong to nations, yet are part of national states.

Loading the player...

Professor Gijsbert Oonk (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Netherlands) Indian Diaspora in the Indian Ocean Region Reflections on Migration, Settlement and Change

 

About the Speaker

 

Gijsbert Oonk (1966) is Head of the Department of History at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is Associate Professor of African and South Asian History at ESHCC. He is also Honorary Research Associate for the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 2011-2012 he was the Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Fellow in Business History at the Harvard Business School (Boston).

He specializes in business, migration and economic history. He is particular interested in the role of South Asian (Indian) migrants and settlers in East Africa. He recently published: Settled Strangers: Asian Business Elites in East Africa 1800-2000, Sage Publication, 2013).  This research has been funded by the Dutch Foundation of Tropical research (WOTRO/NWO). He also edited the book Global Indian Diasporas. Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory (Amsterdam University Press, 2007). In this volume the contributors critically review the concept of diaspora. His research and teaching activities are in the field of World History, especially African and Indian History.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Contact email: ch37@soas.ac.uk