New Journal Launched by Georgetown Scholars offers Groundbreaking Research on Indian Ocean World


Scholars at QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) helped launch a new interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal titled Monsoon: Journal of the Indian Ocean Rim, a collaborative effort between The Africa Institute and Duke University Press. Co-edited by Dr. Rogaia Abusharaf, Professor of Anthropology at GU-Q, and Dr. Jeremy Prestholdt, Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego, the biannual publication brings the complex history, and rich cultural heritage of the Indian Ocean world that includes Qatar and the Gulf region, the Middle East, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and emerging economic powerhouses China and India, to an international audience. 

With a particular focus on Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, Monsoon provides a platform for groundbreaking research in the field by scholars, critics, and artists who wish to publish current research, debate critical issues, and highlight emerging themes. It also aims to help train a new generation of critical thinkers to engage in novel ways with a region of the world that holds immense geo-political importance but has garnered limited academic attention, explained Dr. Abusharaf.

“The Indian Ocean has served as a global crossroads for thousands of years. Understanding the networks of trade, diplomacy, and cultural diffusion that emerged in this region offers important insights into contemporary issues that have shaped our world today, including global trade, geopolitics, environmental challenges, and migration,” she said.

Dr. Cóilín Parsons, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Global Irish Studies Initiative at Georgetown’s campus in Washington, DC is associate editor of the journal, along with GU-Q Associate Professor Dr. Uday Chandra. Other GU-Q scholars involved in the project include book review editor Dr. Firat Oruc, and the late advisory board member Dr. Amira Sonbol. Demonstrating the wide breadth of perspectives engaged in dialogue through the journal, the inaugural issue contains an article on the transformation of pearling towns in the Gulf into booming global centers by GU-Q Professor of Government Dr. Mehran Kamrava, and an article on how literature contributes to understanding the Indian Ocean, written by Dr. Parsons. 

Issue two, available now, contains Dr. Abusharaf’s article exploring gender, power, race, and class through the lens of women in Zanzibar, with issue three forthcoming in May 2024.