HIS 2224 History of the Indian Ocean

Course Description:

This course will explore how the use of the Indian Ocean from the early civilizations to the arrival of the Europeans impacted the shaping of the history of the Indian Ocean world. It will look at phenomenal aspects of trade, migration and the militarisation of the Indian Ocean and the consequences of these upon the various communities living in the Indian Ocean world.

Learning Objectives:
This course is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of how the Indian Ocean has impacted the development, progress and disintegration in the region through near and long distance trade, migrations and wars, and to provide an understanding of how components other than land influence the making of history.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Describe the nexus between oceans and land history
• Analyse how oceans influence wealth, power and the creativity of communities
• Identify how state-centric politics and economic changes impact the history of the world.

Course Content:
1. The importance of oceans in making history
2. Topography/climate of the Indian Ocean and its impact on settlements in the Indian Ocean world
3. Mastering the sea: ‘Human and the sea’
4. Merchant communities in the Indian Ocean
5. Asian leadership in the Indian Ocean trade
6. The rise of Islam and trade
7. Sea and politics in the Indian Ocean in the pre-modern times: Sea-borne empires in the Indian Ocean
8. Capital and trade in the Indian Ocean region
9. Security and the Sea
10. The Indian Ocean during the Cold War period
11. Strategic changes after the Cold War
Attendance 10%
Midterm Test or Assignment 30%
Final Exam 60%

Recommended Readings:
Beaud, M. (2001) A History of Capitalism, translated by Tom Dickman and Anny Lefebvre, Canada: Monthly Review Press.
Chaudhuri, K. N. (1985) Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean: an economic history from the rise of Islam to 1750, Cambridge University Press.
Cortell, A. J., Burrell, R. M. (1972) The Indian Ocean: its Political, Economic and Military Importance, New York: Praeger Publishers.
Kearney, M. (2004) The Indian Ocean in World History, London/NY: Routledge.

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