Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, History, California State University / California Polytechnic State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of California / Los Angeles
The African Presence in Arabia: The Economic and Cultural Legacy of the African Diaspora in Eastern Arabia, 1820-1948

This study will investigate the economic and cultural impact of Africans in Oman and eastern Arabia-the western littoral of the Persian Gulf-in the century preceding the development of the modem oil industry. Africans taken from eastern Africa to Arabia as a result of the Indian Ocean slave trade had a tremendous impact on the economy of Arabia, accounting for significant elements of the workforce in important industries like pearl diving, date farming, ship building, fishing and shipping. At the same time, Africans left a significant cultural legacy in language, music, cuisine, and performance arts, which is still evidenced today. This research project will involve 12 months of field research in: Zanzibar (Tanzania), Muscat (Oman), and London (United Kingdom). It will penetrate existing regional and disciplinary boundaries and examine important dimensions of the African experience in Arabia, filling an important gap in the historical literature on the African diaspora in the Indian Ocean world.