Each semester, the history program hosts a research seminar which is designed to facilitate discussion about current and innovative research with students, faculty, and the local academic community.
Unless otherwise noted, all seminar meetings will be held at the NYUAD Saadiyat Campus on Tuesdays, 5:30-7pm.
|April 21, 2020||
Gaurav Churiwala Garg (NYU and NYUAD)
"Calcutta: From India’s Largest and Most Industrialized Urban Conglomerate to the 'World’s Worst City'"
|April 13, 2020||
Sara Pursley (NYU)
“Familiar Futures: Time, Selfhood and Sovereignty in Iraq”
Co-sponsored with the Arab Crossroads Studies Program and the Humanities Research Fellowship for the Study of the Arab World
|March 12, 2020||
Angelina Lucento (National Research University-Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
“Tatar Avant-Garde, Jadidism, and Anti-Imperial Modernisms”
Co-sponsored with Global Asia Initiative, Art and Art History
|March 11, 2020||
Sarah Hillewaert (University of Toronto, Mississauga)
“Youth, language, and Islam at the Swahili Coast. Notes from Morality at the Margins”
Sponsored by Arab Crossroads Studies with African Studies
|March 9, 2020||
Zekeria ould Ahmed Salem (Northwestern University)
“Global Shinqit: How Mauritania became a major center of Islamic knowledge and authority in the 21st century”
Co-sponsored with African Studies
|March 4, 2020||
Andrew Sartori (NYU)
"Colonial Racial Slurs in Nineteenth-Century India"
|March 3, 2020||
Elena Korchmina (NYUAD)
“Denmark and Russia: What can we learn from the historical comparison of two great Arctic agricultural empires?”
|March 1, 2020||
"Signs of Life in Kinshasa: Writers Reading with Yoka Lye Mudaba and Sinzo Anzaa"
Co-sponsored with African Studies
|March 1, 2020||
Duncan Yoon (NYU)
“Africa, China, and the Global South Novel: In Koli Jean Bofane’s Congo Inc”
Co-sponsored with African Studies and Global Asia Initiative
|February 26, 2020||
Frank Fehrenbach (University of Hamburg)
"Leonardo da Vinci’s Natural Theory of Images"
Co-sponsored with Art History
|February 20, 2020||
Victoria Jackson, sports historian and clinical assistant professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies (Arizona State University)
"Sport Matters: Taking Sport Seriously On and Off the Field of Play"
Co-sponsored with NYUAD Athletics and The Sports Majlis
|Feb 16 to Feb 19, 2020||
Events with Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate and Distinguished-Writer-in-Residence, NYUAD
February 16: Movie Screening
February 17: Panel Discussion
February 18: NYUAD Institute Lecture
February 19: Master Class with Wole Soyinka
|February 16, 2020||
Rosemary Byrne (NYUAD), Stephanie McCurry (Columbia University), Jane Ohlmeyer (Trinity College Dublin)
"Political Investigations, Legal Archives and Women’s Testimonies of Sexual Violence"
Co-sponsored with Legal Studies Program
|February 16, 2020||
Tariq Tell (American University of Beirut), with Nora Barakat (NYUAD)
Global Asia Initiative
|February 4, 2020||
Jeff Jensen and Giuliana Pardelli (NYUAD)
"State Capacity, Labor Coercion and Political Control: Evidence from the US South and Brazil”
Social Science Seminar
|February 3, 2020||
|September 19, 2019||
Daniel Toedt, Humboldt
Africans’ mobility and its prevention is an integral part of the modern Mediterranean. This talk deals with changing Mediterranean mobilities of African seafarers and dockworkers in the French Empire. After the opening of the Suez Canal, African seafarers from places like Dakar, Djibouti and Madagascar started to be recruited to work on steamships navigating through the Mediterranean. As the gateway to the French Empire, the port of Marseille connected the Atlantic Ocean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Its Black Lascars were a heterogeneous group of men hailing from many shores and with different and historically changing legal statuses and radius of mobility. The life of Africans in Marseille was characterized by unemployment, repatriation, and rivalries over a multitude of fleeting job opportunities. While intellectuals in interwar Marseille propagated the harmonious idea of a “Mediterranean homeland” with “all peoples from the sea as citizens of a liquid continent” (Audisio), the Mediterranean port city became a site where different colonial sailors fought over access to the maritime labour market.
|Sep 16 to Sep 18, 2019||
Chouki El Hamel, Arizona State University
Chouki El Hamel is a professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, specializing in West and Northwest Africa. His training and doctoral studies in France at the Centre de Recherches Africaines (University of Sorbonne, Paris I & VII) were in African history and Islamic societies. His research interests focus on the spread and the growth of Islamic culture and the evolution of Islamic institutions in Africa. He is particularly interested in the subaltern relationship of servile and marginalized communities to Islamic ruling institutions. His research into these relationships revolves around issues of power/class, slavery, race/ethnicity, gender and social justice. He published two books and many scholarly articles in academic journals and popular magazines. His most recent book is Black Morocco: a History of Slavery, Race, and Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
|September 17, 2019||
"Maroonage in Morocco, the Case of Khadaq ar-Rayhan"
There are some entire villages in Morocco that are still considered as outcast groups deprived from basic social and administrative services. The Moroccan government is still acting as the pre-colonial establishment of the old regime of slavery and denies them any claim to legal ownership of their lands. The most illustrative example is the villages of Khandaq ar-Rayhan in the area of Chefchaouen (south of Tangier). These are four small villages inhabited by descendants of slaves. Their ancestors were maroons who established distinct settlements that are now a testimony of the resistance to chattel slavery in Morocco.
There are about 500 families living in this area on the legal and social margins in the region. The dominant culture in the region and the political administration do not recognize them and invoke memories which connect the group’s past to an origin of slavery and racial discrimination. We may trace the origin of this group to the ‘Alawi ruling dynasty. Many primary sources attest to the fact that the dispersion of the blacks in all Morocco happened during the period of the ‘Alawi sultan Mawlay Isma‘il (1672-1727). Mawlay Isma‘il ordered to enslave all black Moroccans to serve his authority. The collection of black Moroccans reached 240.000 and were scattered in all over Morocco. This enslaved population gradually separated themselves from the government and claimed their original status of freedom, as a great number of them (such as the Haratin) were indeed free upon their enslavement by Mawlay Isma‘il. I intend to underlay factors that maintained the Moroccan social identities and examine the historical roots of this marginalized group that led to the present dilemma of racial identity and discrimination in Morocco.
|October 10, 2019||
Huri Islamoğlu, Professor of Economic History and Economic Theory, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
|October 14, 2019||
Willard Sunderland, University of Cincinnati (Imperial Russia)
|October 24, 2019||
Florence Bernault , University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor Bernault's talk at NYUAD will build on her recent monograph Colonial Transactions: Imaginaries, Bodies and Histories in Gabon (Duke University Press, 2019). In that book, Bernault moves beyond the racial divide that dominates colonial studies of Africa to focus on shared imaginaries among colonizers and colonized in colonial Gabon. Bernault looks at French obsessions with cannibals, the emergence of vampires and witches in the Gabonese imaginary, and the use of human organs for fetishes. Struggling over objects, bodies, agency, and values, colonizers and colonized entered relations that are better conceptualized as "transactions." Together they also shared an awareness of how the colonial situation broke down moral orders and forced people to use the evil side of power.
|November 5, 2019||
Nancy Um, University of Binghamton
Referred to as “the first global brand,” Chinese porcelain, and particularly blue and white wares, occupied an unprecedented place in early modern global markets, inspiring widespread demand, but also artisanal imitations across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Yet, the historians, art historians, curators, and archaeologists who have taken up porcelain as a topic in recent years have endeavored to move beyond general perceptions of universal desirability in order to trace the specific contours of regional markets and to highlight the needs of regional spheres of consumption.
This talk contributes to this effort by digging deeper on a smaller scale, looking closely at one market for Asian porcelain, the Red Sea in the early eighteenth century. It will rely on various types of evidence, textual, material, and archaeological (both land-based and underwater), to explore the diversity of porcelain and ceramic wares that circulated in that market. By looking closely at this one regional sphere, we may add dimension to the larger overarching narrative of porcelain, while considering the difficulty of working with varied types of sources for the study of early modern material culture around the edges of the Indian Ocean arena.
|November 7, 2019||
Hartmut Berghoff, Director of the Institute of Economic and Social History, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
|November 13, 2019||
Apollo Makubuya, lawyer and independent scholar
In the scramble for Africa, Britain took a lion’s share of the continent. It occupied and controlled vast territories including the Uganda Protectorate, which it ruled for 68 years. Early administrators in the region encountered the progressive kingdom of Buganda, which they incorporated into the British Empire. Under the guise of protection, indirect rule and patronage, Britain overran, plundered and disempowered the kingdom’s traditional institutions.
On liquidation of the Empire, Buganda was coaxed into a problematic political order largely dictated from London. Today, 57 years after independence, the kingdom struggles to rediscover itself within Uganda’s fragile politics. Based on newly de-classified records, this talk reconstructs a history of the machinations underpinning British imperial interests in (B)Uganda and the personalities who embodied colonial rule. It addresses Anglo-Uganda relations, demonstrating how Uganda’s politics reflects its colonial past, and the forces shaping its future. The talk examines British rule in Uganda and questions whether it was designed for protection, for patronage or for plunder. The talk raises issues relevant to the scholarship of British colonialism across Africa and helps explain the political economy and fate of its former colonies.
|November 17, 2019||
|December 4, 2019||
Marc Galanter,. University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School