Prayer, Passports, and the Politics of Indian Ocean Travel

Tue, Dec 4, 2018, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
The Institute for the Transregional Study of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asis

This lecture examines notions and practices of travel across the Indian Ocean in the first half of the twentieth century. It contrasts two regimes—the Omani and the British—of imagining and managing travel between Oman and the island of Zanzibar. The lecture focuses first on debates about prayer practices and the concerns they reflect about belonging, theocratic rule, and home among Omani settlers in Zanzibar. It then examines British colonial attempts to regularize citizenship and subjecthood as well as to limit the mobility of Omani settlers through changing immigration policies. Professor Limbert will illustrate how each regime shaped debates about national boundaries and history.

Mandana Limbert is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002 and joined CUNY the same year. Her publications include her monograph In the Time of Oil (Stanford University Press, 2010), a co-edited volume Timely Assets (School of American Research, 2008), as well as articles and chapters on oil development, temporality, and religiosity in Oman. Her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and she has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the City University of New York, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and this fall she is distinguished faculty fellow at the Advanced Research Collaborative. Professor Limbert is writing her next book on changing notions of Arabness in Oman and Zanzibar over the course of the twentieth century.

Lunch will be served.

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