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Secondary Readings

Literary Texts:

Meena Alexander, "Indian Ocean Blues"; "Acqua Alta" ( opens in a new window)

Lindsey Collen, Boy

Mia Couto, Sea Loves Me (2021) (see "Waters of Time", "The Blind Fisherman", "The Captain's Lover" and "The Marine House")

Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies

Romesh Gunesekara, Reef

Abdulrazak Gurnah, By the Sea

Ranjit Hoskote, Jonahwhale (2018) (see esp. "Archipelagos" and "Lascar")

Yvonne Owour, The Dragonfly Sea

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Monique Roffey, The Mermaid of Black Conch


Critical Readings:

Anderson, C. 2012. Subaltern Lives: Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790–1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bose, S. 2006. A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Nienke Boer, The Briny South: Displacement and Sentiment in the Indian Ocean World (Duke UP, 2023)

Chakravarti, R. 2015. Vibrant thalassographies of the Indian Ocean: Beyond nation states. Studies in History 31: 235–248.

Chari, S. Subaltern sea? Indian Ocean errantry against subalternization. In Subaltern Geographies, ed. T. Jazeel, and S. Legg, 191–209. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press (2019)

Margaret Cohen, The Novel and the Sea (2010) (See Chapter 5, pp. 202-12 on Conrad's Typhoon)

A Cultural History of the Sea in the Age of Empire, ed. M. Cohen, 177–202. London: Bloomsbury

Sreya Mallika Datta, "Swahili Transmodernity and the Indian Ocean: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Ethic of Community in By the Sea, Desertion, and Gravel Heart", Postcolonial Text, Vol. 14, Nos. 3 and 4, 2019)

Elizabeth DeLoughrey, "Towards a Critical Ocean Studies for the Anthropocene". English Language Notes (2019)

Sayan Dey, Performing Memories and Weaving Archives: Creolised Cultures Across the Indian Ocean (Anthem Press, 2023)

Hand, Felicity. “Untangling Stories and Healing Rifts: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea.” Research in African Literatures, vol. 41, no. 2, 2010, pp. 74–92.

Ho, E. The Graves of Tarim: Genealogy and Mobility across the Indian Ocean. Berkeley: University of California Press (2006)

Hofmeyr, I. 2007. The Black Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean: Forging new paradigms of transnationalism for the Global South—Literary and cultural perspectives. Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies 33: 3–32.

-----------------. “The Complicating Sea: The Indian Ocean as Method.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 32, no. 3, 2012, pp. 584-90.

Jasanoff, M. 2017. The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World. New York: Penguin.

Meier, Prita. “Unmoored: On Oceanic Objects in Coastal Eastern Africa, circa 1700–1900.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol 37, no. 2, 2017, pp. 355–67.

Dilip Menon and Nishat Zaidi, Oceans as Method (2021)

---------------------------------, eds. Cosmopolitan Cultures and Oceanic Thought (2023)

Ihasan Ul-Ilthisam and Rohini Nagath, "Is there singing in the time of crisis? Sounding Flood Songs of Coastal and Riverine Malabar in the Indian Ocean". South Asia Vol. XLV No. 6 December 2022.

Pearson, M. 2003. The Indian Ocean, Seas in History. London: Routledge.

Robson, L. 2017. Joseph Conrad’s journey. The New Yorker, 13 November.

Philip Steinberg "Of Other Oceans" (2013)

Verne, J., and M. Verne. 2017. Introduction: The Indian Ocean as aesthetic space. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 37: 314–320.


Fahad Ahmed Bishara, The Voyage of the Crooked: A Connected History of the Gulf and Indian Ocean