Indian Ocean Transformation of a Seascape
The project investigates the transformations that re-shaped the
maritime influenced social and cultural landscape (seascape) of
the western Indian Ocean between the opening of the Suez Canal
in 1869 and the end of the Second World War. Following up on the
project "Indian Ocean Space on the Move", the
focus is now on the flow of people, goods and information that
experienced fundamental change during the period under review.
The project seeks to identify different socio-economic transformations
and to reconstruct overlapping temporal layers and chronologies,
thereby considering the various entrepreneurs. In this respect,
it also studies the spatial re-organization of the Indian Ocean
seascape and its constituent elements.
Travelling through the War. Discursive Strategies for Encouraging
Transoceanic Mobility in the Swahili Military Press of the Kings
African Rifles in World War II
The incorporation of the Kings African Rifles (KAR) in
Britains military strategies led to an increased mobility
of East African combat units within the Indian Ocean region during
World War II. The necessary changes in Britains colonial
and information policies, which were introduced and implemented
from 1940 onwards, form the background for the central question
of the project: what discursive strategies were applied in the
Swahili military press to address KAR soldiers as mobile units
of combat and to legitimize their out-of-area employment. Applying
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the project sets up a typology
of strategic topoi and their linguistic realization. Newspaper
reports criticizing out-of-area employment will be analysed with
regard to the existence of a selected or channelled debate on
KAR mobility, e.g., by the selection of letters to the editor.
Moreover, the project studies the institutional history of the
KAR Swahili military newspapers.
Dhow trade in East Africa (1869-1914): an independent "African economic sector during the colonial period?
The research project examines the dhow trade on the East African
coast between Aden and Zanzibar.
The study concentrates on the structures and change processes
of the Arab-African dhow trade after the completion of the Suez
Canal and before the outbreak of the First World War. During this
period, the established, century-old commercial system in East
Africa encountered direct competition in the form of new rapidly
spreading transportation facilities (steam navigation lines and
railways) . The pursuit of the dhow slave trade flanked by the
military was followed by politically motivated trade restrictions
as a means of placing dhow traffic under colonial control. At
the same time, the growing colonial alignment of East African
domestic trade affected the composition of dhow traffic commodities.
Based on British and German colonial administration documents,
the effect on the dhow trade of the structural change in trade
between the hinterland and the coast are to be examined. The applicants
work on the project will primarily make use of social historical
and comparative methods. Beyond that, the work with serial sources
requires statistic evaluation methods.