43 episodes

The Indian Ocean World Podcast seeks to educate and inform its listeners on topics concerning the relationship between humans and the environment throughout the history of the Indian Ocean World. Based out of the Indian Ocean World Centre, a research centre affiliated with McGill University’s Department of History and Classical Studies, under the direction of Dr. Gwyn Campbell, the Indian Ocean World Podcast is part of the Appraising Risk Partnership, an international collaboration of scholars and researchers dedicated to exploring the critical role of climatic crises in the past and future of the Indian Ocean World. With generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the partnership seeks to create a comprehensive spatial and temporal database of human-environment interaction and interdependence during periods of climatic change.

The Indian Ocean World Podcast Indian Ocean World Centre

    • Education

The Indian Ocean World Podcast seeks to educate and inform its listeners on topics concerning the relationship between humans and the environment throughout the history of the Indian Ocean World. Based out of the Indian Ocean World Centre, a research centre affiliated with McGill University’s Department of History and Classical Studies, under the direction of Dr. Gwyn Campbell, the Indian Ocean World Podcast is part of the Appraising Risk Partnership, an international collaboration of scholars and researchers dedicated to exploring the critical role of climatic crises in the past and future of the Indian Ocean World. With generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the partnership seeks to create a comprehensive spatial and temporal database of human-environment interaction and interdependence during periods of climatic change.

    ”Cholera, British Seamen and Maritime Anxieties in Calcutta, c.1830s–1890s.”

    ”Cholera, British Seamen and Maritime Anxieties in Calcutta, c.1830s–1890s.”

    Dr. Manikarnika Dutta, a Research Associate in the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford, joins Dr. Julie Babin to discuss her research into the intersection of medical, colonial, and maritime history in nineteenth-century Calcutta. This research began with a doctoral thesis completed in 2019, but today we focus on the peer-reviewed paper, "Cholera, British seamen and maritime anxieties in Calcutta, c.1830s-1890s."

    Dr. Dutta holds an MA in Modern History from the University of Calcutta, as well as an MSc in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Her research examines the interplay of medicine, especially public health regimes, and race in colonial India. Her work has been awarded the Taniguchi Medal (2018) and the William Bynum Essay Prize (2021).

    Links:

    Article Link: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/medical-history/article/cholera-british-seamen-and-maritime-anxieties-in-calcutta-c1830s1890s-the-william-bynum-prize-essay/7EFD13BEDFFDEE41613D49C51BC4AAFB

    Chapter Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-36264-5_8

    University Profile: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/manikarnika-dutta

    Twitter: @DManikarnika

    The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

    • 34 min
    Introducing the Gwillim Project

    Introducing the Gwillim Project

    Dr. Anna Winterbottom (McGill) and Prof. Victoria Dickenson (McGill) join Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) to discuss the Gwillim Project, a multinational research project exploring the remarkable artistic and epistolary output of two English sisters, Mary Symonds and Elizabeth Gwillim, living in early-nineteenth-century Madras. Elizabeth Gwillim’s high-quality, to-scale natural history drawings of birds, fish, and flowers are held in the Blacker Wood Natural History Collection at the McGill Library. Along with Mary’s paintings and the sisters’ correspondence, these pictures throw light not just on the history of natural history, Prof. Dickenson’s area of expertise, but on all facets of the life and environment of Southern India at the time. Dr. Winterbottom contextualizes the sister's work with insights from her research into the East India Company European settlements around the Indian Ocean.

    Prof. Victoria Dickenson is Professor of Practice, Rare Books and Special Collections at the McGill Library. She serves as Principal Investigator for the Gwillim Project.

    Dr. Anna Winterbottom serves as Research Associate and Project Manager for the Gwillim Project.

    For more information on the Gwillim Project, see:

    https://thegwillimproject.com/

    The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership "Appraising Risk, Past and Present."

    • 52 min
    Micro-Financing Rural Cambodia: Loans, Debt, and Climate Change

    Micro-Financing Rural Cambodia: Loans, Debt, and Climate Change

    What does it mean when we talk about micro-financing the rural economy? And how does micro-financing apply to Cambodia? These questions are explored by Professor W. Nathan Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore.  Prof. Green’s research critically examines the political ecologies of agrarian finance and infrastructure in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Cambodia. By combining his economic, geographical, and ethnographic study of rural Cambodia, Prof. Green paints us a vivid picture of the development of Cambodian loan and borrowing structures, while delving into the risks associated with having one’s land in collateral. Since the 1980s, micro-financing has been essential to Cambodia’s rise out of the economic and humanitarian turmoil inflicted by the Pol Pot regime. But, as climate change continues to impact the stability of Cambodia and the rest of the world, vulnerabilities amongst those dwelling in this ‘borrowers’ economy have become increasingly noticeable. As is stated by Prof. Green, vulnerability to climate change goes beyond the natural environment to encapsulate structural drivers of vulnerability like political empowerment, the ability to make decisions over one’s own land, entitlements to resources, etc. Rising household indebtedness in Cambodia due to its micro-financing scheme is a major driver of household vulnerability.

    To learn more about Prof Green, check out his academic page here: https://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geowng/

    This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC; English Common Law, University of Ottawa) and Philip Gooding (postdoctoral fellow, IOWC, McGill).

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Never Again was there a City like Diu: Architecture, History, and Culture in Colonial Gujarat

    Never Again was there a City like Diu: Architecture, History, and Culture in Colonial Gujarat

    In this podcast, Dr. Nuno Grancho, a postdoctoral fellow and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Centre for Privacy Studies, University of Copenhagen, discusses his research into the architecture of the island city of Diu, Gujarat, West India. Focussing on the five centuries of Diu’s Portuguese occupation (1514-1961) his work demonstrates the complex nature of overlap between spatial and functional categories in the colonial context. Dr. Grancho approaches Diu as a modern artefact of study, with his research extended beyond the tangible aspects of the city’s structure. In doing so, he argues that the history and theory of architecture and urbanism combined with the history and theory of the collision of Portuguese and West Indian cultures have created an exceptional urban architectural environment. This exceptionalism, as remarked by Dr. Grancho, is marked by the fact that “never again was there a place like Diu in the history of European colonial presence in India, in the history of colonial identity in India, and most of all, in the history of European colonial cities in India.”

    By comparing Diu’s structure and organization to other European settlements (English, Dutch, Danish, and French), Dr. Grancho’s research contributes to the historiography of imperial architecture and architectural history. Specifically, it highlights the ethnic, racial, social, and spatial divide between Indigenous and European colonial settlements. With regards to the preservation of the rich history within the parameter of Diu’s urban environment, Dr. Grancho maintains that a balance must be found between what is heritage and what is vernacular, and contemporary building techniques of today must be used to preserve the authenticity of this exceptional city.

    This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC) and  Philip Gooding (postdoctoral fellow, IOWC, McGill).

    • 34 min
    The Indus Delta Between Past and Future

    The Indus Delta Between Past and Future

    The IOWC Podcast team had the opportunity of interviewing Dr. Hasan H. Karrar, an Associate Professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (“LUMS,” Lahore, Pakistan) who specializes in modern Chinese and Central Asian history and political economy. In this podcast, Dr. Karrar delves into his recent working paper entitled “The Indus Delta Between Past and Future: Precarious Livelihoods and Neoliberal Imaginaries in a Parched Coastal Belt,” which was published in the 5th volume of the Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies (JIOWS). Predominantly located in Pakistan, the Indus delta, at the terminus of the Indus River system, is presently home to 300,000 residents. Over the last century, upriver hydrology has reduced the flow of water through the river. The result of continuous hydrological manipulation is salination and seawater incursion that has led to the loss of arable land – reducing agriculture as a sustainable livelihood. This has created precarious livelihoods whereby people are forced either into the informal fishing sector, or to migrate, representing a stark departure from earlier times when agriculture was the primary vocation.  

    Dr. Karrar asks what the future holds for the delta region of Pakistan? What solutions might be proposed to these climate-related roadblocks? One solution is utilizing Chinese investment in Pakistan to reduce the environmental impact on the region. This approach moreover presents a future Pakistan that is connected to markets in Asia through its ports, an economic design that has been propagated in Pakistan for decades. However, as is argued by Dr. Karrar, the fixation on the fantastical futures of the Pakistani state, while encouraging investment and economic longevity, does not assist in remedying the problems of a delta-based population stuck in an uncertain present.

    This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC), Archisman Chaudhuri and Philip Gooding (both postdoctoral fellows, IOWC, McGill).

    • 35 min
    William Tolly and His Canal: 18th Century Calcutta and the Complexities of Industrialization

    William Tolly and His Canal: 18th Century Calcutta and the Complexities of Industrialization

    In this podcast, our host Philip Gooding interviews Professor Kaustubh Mani Sengupta (Bankura University, West Bengal, India) on his recent article published in the fifth volume of the Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies (JIOWS), entitled “William Tolly and His Canal: Navigating Calcutta in the Late-Eighteenth Century.” Specifically, Prof. Sengupta elaborates on the making of one particularly arduous canal in Calcutta, connecting the port city of Bengal with the eastern districts of the province for better trade and communication. This massive undertaking, headed by a serving officer of the East India Company (EIC), Major Tolly, revealed the material, political, and economic complexities of industrialization in early British India. In addition to discussing the general inefficiency of the Company and its young British servants, Prof. Sengupta advances the environmental history of the region by discussing how canal-building introduced significant shifts in how surrounding populations interacted with their natural environment. Going forward, Prof. Sengupta hopes to apply an enhanced environmental perspective to his ongoing research on Calcutta industrialization, water systems, and sanitation epidemics.

    Link to article:

    https://jiows.mcgill.ca/article/view/99

    This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC), Archisman Chaudhuri and Philip Gooding (both postdoctoral fellows, IOWC, McGill).

     

     

    • 35 min