Between Zanzibar and the Persian Gulf: Dhow Cultures of the Western Indian Ocean in the 19th Century

When and Where

Friday, March 12, 2021 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
via Zoom


Stephen Rockel


The Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Student Union's new virtual lecture series titled Highlighting Hidden Stories: Examining the Relationship Between the African Continent and the Middle East looks to challenge the artificial boundary between these two regions, and explore the lives, experiences and roles played by marginalized voices in Middle East history. This lecture series consists of a series of lectures/panel discussions taking place over the course of the year, each on a new theme and engaging with a different region of Africa.

In this lecture, Professor Rockel will present the distinct relationship between East African and the Middle Eastern civilizations, connected through the oceanic Dhow cultures. By examining these cultures and movements of the West Indian Ocean in the 19th century Dr. Rockel will discuss the unique cultural contributions and history of often forgotten voices. 

Professor Stephen Rockel is a specialist in African History at the University of Toronto (SC). He has particular interests in African social and cultural history, labour, slavery, urbanization, colonialism, environmental history, and war and society throughout the African continent and beyond. Before teaching at the University of Toronto Dr. Rockel taught in the Department of Economic History at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. His book, Carriers of Culture: Labor on the Road in Nineteenth-Century East Africa, was awarded the Joel Gregory Prize by the Canadian Association of African Studies for the best book on Africa written by a Canadian and published in 2006 or 2007. In 2009 he published (with Rick Halpern), Inventing Collateral Damage: Civilian Casualties, War and Empire. His current research projects include a history of Tabora, as well as research on Tanzanian national identity, and South African apartheid exiles in Canada.


Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Student Union (NMCSU)