Narrating Africa in South Asia


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Narrating Africa in South Asia (Special Journal Issue: South Asian History and Culture, Volume 11, Issue 4, 2020) explores the multifaceted and longue durée history of the African diaspora in South Asia. The themes of the articles cover many grounds, such as race, religion, social and intellectual history, space and place, social networks and globality, memory studies, and identity politics, among others. Narrating Africa in South Asia situates the African diaspora in the South Asian subcontinent against the broader backdrop of global mobilizations against systemic racism, economic inequality, inaccessible justice, and colonial educational system, among others.

Mahmood Kooria is an Assistant Professor at the History Department of Ashoka University. Earlier, he was a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL), and the Dutch Institute in Morocco (NIMAR). He did his Ph.D. at the Leiden University Institute for history on the circulation of Islamic legal ideas and texts across the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean worlds. With Michael N. Pearson, he has edited Malabar in the Indian Ocean World: Cosmopolitanism in a Maritime Historical Region (Oxford University Press, 2018). His research specializations are the premodern Indian Ocean world, Afro-Asian connections, matrilineal Muslims, and Islamic legal history. His broader research interests include the premodern interactions between Abrahamic and Indic religions, global mobility of law, and Islamic intellectual history.

Khatija Khader completed her Ph.D. titled ‘Interrogating Identity: A study of Siddi and Hadrami Diaspora in Hyderabad City, India’ at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her Ph.D. and publications explore the histories of migration of the Siddi and the seafaring Hadrami diaspora in the Western India Ocean and engage with concepts like diaspora, race, and homeland/s in a non-western location. In the past, Dr. Khader has worked with various international non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International, Arab League, and OHCHR on issues related to Human Rights, Gender and Foreign Policy. She is currently teaching at the Centre for International Relations (CIR) at the Islamic University of Science and Technology, Jammu and Kashmir.

Sofia Péquignot is a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, France, currently writing a dissertation entitled Black India: The Social Constructions of Siddis, African Descendants in India. Her research focuses on Siddis’ ongoing processes of unification. These are based on a common identification with African origins, building on existing and newly emerging networks of Indians of African descent at different levels: local, regional, national and transnational. She examines the various social constructions enabling these unification processes, reflecting the ways Siddi people are constructing and negotiating their place in Indian society, but also on an international level, an echo of other global movements.

Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. His research focuses on the intersection of law and the environment across the Western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners’ feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome.

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