Günaydı, Contextualising environmental contingencies

Mustafa Emre Günaydı, a PhD student at Iowa State University and a research assistant working on the IOWC’s Appraising Risk partnership, presents his ongoing research into the environmental history of the Ottoman Empire. In this podcast, he discusses a work in progress, in which he analyses the effects of the 1831 floods, epidemic, and locust invasion in Baghdad within the context of wider geopolitical developments and leaders’ responses to natural and human challenges.

For more on Mustafa’s work, see his Iowa State profile: https://history.iastate.edu/directory/mustafa-emre-gunaydi/


Kuehn, Managing the Hazards of Yemen’s Natural Environment

Prof. Thomas Kuehn (Simon Fraser University) discusses with Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding his forthcoming chapter, ‘Managing the hazards of Yemen’s natural environment. Nature and imperial governance in Ottoman South West Arabia, 1872-1914.’ Key themes include imperial governance, human-environment interaction in the context of ‘challenging’ environments, and knowledge production in the late Ottoman Empire.

Prof. Kuehn is also the author or several publications related to the topics related to this podcast. See, for example:

Thomas Kuehn, Empire, Islam and Politics of Difference. Ottoman Rule in Yemen, 1849-1919 (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2019).

“‘We Know Nothing About Yemen!’ Ottoman Imperial Governance in Southwest Arabia and the Politics of Knowledge Production, 1871–1914”, Journal of Arabian Studies, 8, 1 (2018), pp. 5-24.

“Translators of Empire: Colonial Cosmopolitanism, Ottoman Bureaucrats and the Struggle over the Governance of Yemen, 1898-1914”, in Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts, eds. Derryl N. Maclean and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2013), pp. 51-67.

“Shaping and Re-Shaping Colonial Ottomanism: Contesting Boundaries of Difference and Integration in Ottoman Yemen, 1872-1919”, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 27, 2 (August 2007), pp. 315-331.

“Colonialisme” and “Yémen” in Dictionaire de l’Empire ottoman – XVe-XXe siècle, eds. François Georgeon, Nicolas Vatin, and Gilles Veinstein (Paris: Fayard, 2015).

Low, Imperial Mecca

Prof. Michael Christopher Low (Iowa State University and NYU Abu Dhabi) discusses with Renee Manderville, Philip Gooding, and Archisman Chaudhuri (all IOWC) his new book, Imperial Mecca: Ottoman Arabia and the Indian Ocean Hajj (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020). Key themes include technological change, disease, and the British and Ottoman Empires in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

More information about the book can be found at: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/imperial-mecca/9780231190770

More of Prof. Low’s work is available at his Iowa State profile and at his NYU Abu-Dhabi profile.


Serels, Animal diseases as threats to state power in the SRSR

Dr. Steven Serels (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient) discusses with Renee Manderville, Philip Gooding, and Archisman Chaudhuri (all IOWC) his research into animal diseases as threats to state power in the history of the Southern Red Sea Region (SRSR). The discussion weaves around diseases to camels, horses, and cattle, and brings up key themes of human-environment interaction, military uses for animals, colonial rule, and global climatic anomalies. 

More details of Dr. Serels work can be found at: https://www.zmo.de/personen/dr-steven-serels

Please also check out especially his two monographs:

Unruh, Conflict and Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Subseries: Indian Ocean World – At a Glance

This is the first episode of our subseries, ‘Indian Ocean World – at a glance.’ In this subseries, scholars will use their expert knowledge of the secondary literature to discuss an issue, debate, or case study related to Indian Ocean World studies. It is designed for listeners to gain an informed knowledge of topics that are frequently misunderstood or overlooked, or are especially pertinent to the contemporary IOW.

In this episode, Prof. Jon Unruh (McGill) discusses the conflict and humanitarian crisis in present-day Yemen in historical, environmental, domestic, regional, and global contexts. Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding (all IOWC) provide the questions.

For more on Prof. Unruh, see his bio at: https://www.mcgill.ca/geography/people-0/unruh

For Prof. Unruh’s previous podcast based on his own research into land rights and conflict in the IOW, see: https://www.appraisingrisk.com/2020/07/16/podcast-episode-7-unruh-land-rights-and-conflict/

For some of Prof. Unruh’s scholarship on land rights and conflict in Yemen, see: Jon D. Unruh, ‘Mass Claims in Land and Property Following the Arab Spring: Lessons from Yemen,’ Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, 5, 1, (2016): 1–19.

For UNHCR’s work in Yemen, see: https://www.unhcr.org/yemen-emergency.html

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Disaster Management

Prof. Brian Tomaszewski, Rochester Institute of Technology, discusses his work on digital map-making and disaster management with our regular podcast hosts, Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding of the Indian Ocean World Centre. For more information on the materials discussed, see:


Presenter: Prof. Brian Tomaszewski
Associate Professor of Geographic Information Science and Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY
Co-Presenters: Renee Manderville, Philip Gooding, Archisman Chaudhuri
Indian Ocean World Center, McGill University
An audio-only version of this episode is available below:
For more from Prof. Tomaszewski and his team, see the following links

Podcast Episode 7 – Unruh, Land Rights and Conflict

With the help of Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding, Prof. Jon D. Unruh, McGill University, discusses his work on land rights and restitution in times of conflict in several regions of the contemporary IOW. Some of the works discussed in the podcast include:

Jon D. Unruh and Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil, ‘Constituencies of conflict and opportunity: Land rights, narratives and collective action in Darfur,’ Political Geography, 42 (2014): 104-16.

Jon Unruh and Mourad Shalaby, ‘A volatile interaction between peacebuilding priorities: road infrastructure (re)construction and land rights in Afghanistan,’ Progress in Development Studies, 12, 1 (2012): 47-61.

Jon D. Unruh, ‘Mass Claims in Land and Property Following the Arab Spring: Lessons from Yemen,’ Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, 5, 1, (2016): 1–19.

Jon D. Unruh, ‘Weaponization of the Land and Property Rights system in the Syrian civil war: facilitating restitution?’ Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 10, 4 (2016): 453-71.

For more on Prof. Unruh’s work, see his bio at: https://www.mcgill.ca/geography/people-0/unruh