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Social Science Research Council
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Personal Info

About Me

My research explores the afterlives of early modern exile and slavery in the Indian Ocean world, with a focus on written culture, sacred geographies and notions of diaspora in island Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. I have published widely on the Arabic-Afrikaans and jawi manuscript traditions of slaves, exiles and their descendants in South Africa, and am working on a monograph that explores connections between Indonesia and South Africa through shared narratives of displacement.

Alongside my academic projects, I have contributed to public history and art initiatives that aim to both challenge and imagine from traditional archives of slavery in the Indian Ocean world, and to draw attention to marginalized archives. Such work includes collaborations with the Burning Museum Collective and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, amongst others. I have also written on transoceanic histories and heritage for popular publications such as Africa is a Country and The Chimurenga Chronicle. I have studied in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and the USA, and hold a PhD in History from Princeton University (2018).

From 2018-2019 I lectured in histories of the Global South at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and since October 2019, I serve as Program Officer for the Transregional Collaboratory on the Indian Ocean, based at the Social Science Research Council in New York. I am also an associate of the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South project, and a committee member of the Islam in Africa Studies Group.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
South Africa, Indonesia, Indian Ocean world
Expertise by Geography
Africa, Southeast Asia
Expertise by Chronology
6, 7
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Colonialism, Material Culture, Religion, Slavery