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:

Ondaatje, Animal Ascension

Akash Ondaatje, a recently graduated Masters candidate at Queens University, discusses with Renee Manderville and Philip Gooding (both IOWC) his thesis, ‘Animal Ascension: Elevation and Debasement Through Human-Animal Associations in English Satire, 1700 -1820,’ thus continuing our recent theme on animal studies, and tracing the lives of some IOW animals into European cultural frameworks.

Ondaatje is now working at KnowHistory (https://knowhistory.ca/) as a Research Associate of Indigenous genealogies. His Masters thesis can be found here: https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/handle/1974/27991



Govindrajan, Animal Intimacies

Prof. Radhika Govindrajan (University of Washington) joins Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding (all IOWC) to discuss her award winning book, Animal Intimacies: Interspecies relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018). Animal Intimacies explores what ­it means to live and die in relation to other animals, alongside the intimate—and intense—moments of care, kinship, violence, politics, indifference, and desire that occur between human and non-human animals.

For more on the book, see: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/A/bo28301734.html

For more on Prof. Govindrajan’s work, see her bio at: https://anthropology.washington.edu/people/radhika-govindrajan

Chaiklin and Gooding, Animal Trade Histories in the Indian Ocean World

Martha Chaiklin and Philip Gooding discuss with Archisman Chaudhuri their recently published edited volume, Animal Trade Histories in the Indian Ocean World (Cham, CH: Palgrave, 2020). As part of their discussion, they explore themes including, animals in world history, animals’ relationships to climate change and the anthropocene/capitalocene debate, methodologies for studying animal histories, and cultural symbolisms of animals resulting from trade.

The book is available in ebook and hardcover format.

Kalacska and Lucanus, Land Cover and Freshwater Fish in Madagascar

Prof. Margaret Kalacska and Mr. Oliver Lucanus (both McGill) discuss with Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding (all IOWC, McGill) their project, Fish and Forest. This interdisciplinary work uses data from historical aerial photography, satellite imagery, and new information captured by UAV and in-situ observations to investigate and document the historical changes in the habitat of threatened aquatic species. In so doing, it seeks to explain the link between the disappearance of highly endemic and specialized fishes and the loss of forest.



For more on their project, see: http://fishandforests.geog.mcgill.ca/

For more on Prof. Kalacska’s work, see: https://www.mcgill.ca/geography/people-0/kalacska

For related publications, see:

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

Warren – Colonial Monocrops and Global Climatic Oscillations in the Philippines

With the help of Renee Manderville, Archisman Chaudhuri, and Philip Gooding (all IOWC), Prof. James Warren (Murdoch University) discusses his past and ongoing research into the effects of global climatic oscillations on the history of the Philippines. In this podcast episode, he examines the role of ENSO-related climatic anomalies and typhoons on the colonial monocrops of tobacco (Spanish era) and sugar (American era). In these contexts, he also responds to questions on the lives of indigenous populations and on colonial science.

For more on Prof. Warren’s work, see:

http://profiles.murdoch.edu.au/myprofile/james-warren/ and


Prof. Warren has also provided us with some images that may be of interest and use to listeners:

Map: The Philippines

Map: Sulu and Celebes Seas

Map: Iranun Balangingi raiding

Map: Typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean

Common Typhoon Paths

“Eye of the storm”

Flattened canefields, 1899

Barocyclonometer (1)

Barocyclonometer (2)

Jose Algue (1856-1930), Jesuit meteorologist



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