Africa and the Indian Ocean: a long-term perspective – 25-27 February 2014


The series of encounters co-organised by IFAS, UCT and Wits University aim at rethinking the exchanges that have been taking place between the African continent and the Indian Ocean since the 11th century. On the opposite side of the colonial myth of a continent viewed as isolated and passive in the face of intercontinental exchanges, the proposed studies show that Africa was already integrated, well before any European irruption, into the commercial networks that were operating at the four corners of the Indian Ocean. Paying attention to the political and cultural dimensions of these material connections, the studies also show that such an integration was not limited to the maritime interface, but involved political and social formations on the actual continent.



25 February | 12:00-14:00 | HUMA Seminar Room | Seminar “Philology in Question” Series
Philippe Beaujard (University Paris I-Sorbonnne)
Magic and Islam in Madagascar. The Arabic-Malagasy Manuscripts of the Antemoro Region
Discussant: Shamil Jeppie

26 February | 13:00-17:00 | Archaeology Seminar Room – Beattie 3.08 | Workshop
Philippe Beaujard (University Paris I-Sorbonnne)
East Africa and Ancient Globalizations
Thomas Vernet (University Paris I-Sorbonnne)
Looking at the Coast from the Mainland. The Swahili City-States, their Neighbours and Beyond:
Networks and Power, ca.1590 – 1730
Pamilla Gupta (WISER, Wits)
Island-ness in the Indian Ocean.
Adrien Delmas (IFAS Johannesburg)
Portuguese Encounters with African Written Cultures: The Chronique of Kilwa
Discussants: Nigel Worden (UCT), Bodhisatva Kar (UCT)

27 February | 14:00-16:00 | CISA, Wits |Seminar
Thomas Vernet (University Paris I-Sorbonnne)
The Shifting Identity of the Swahili: Local Accounts, Historiography and the Mechanisms of Social Hierarchy during the Early Modern Era
Discussant: Pamila Gupta (WISER, Wits)