The Africa Institute, in collaboration with Duke University Press, is pleased to announce the launch of a new interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, biannual journal titled Monsoon, co-edited by Jeremy Prestholdt, Professor of History, University of California, San Diego, and Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf, Professor of Anthropology, Georgetown University in Qatar, which seeks to spark new ways of thinking about the Indian Ocean region and to promote innovative scholarly research and analysis.
The Indian Ocean has been a critical nexus of global linkages for millennia. The region is a cultural continuum facilitated by mobility, belief, taste, exchange, and other practices. Its geopolitical, strategic, economic, sociocultural, and historical significance can hardly be overstated.
“Half of the world’s population lives within fifty miles of the Indian Ocean’s shores and half of the world’s container ship traffic crosses its waters, most of the world’s petroleum traverses the basin, and global powers compete for regional influence. As a result, scholarly and popular interest in the Indian Ocean region has increased dramatically in recent years. At the same time, the region has yet to receive the scholarly attention it merits,” said co-editor Professor Jeremy Prestholdt.
Monsoon encompasses a series of special issues bringing together the perspectives of scholars, critics, and artists across the disciplines of humanities and social sciences that offers a new forum to present research, debate critical themes, and highlight emerging trends in Indian Ocean studies — with an emphasis on Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.
Co-editor Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf further contextualized the idea behind the title of the periodical. “The name of the journal, ‘Monsoon’ , is inspired by seasonal weather patterns, notably the winds that facilitated interregional sojourns and thus the integration of the Indian Ocean rim over thousands of years. The journal proposes to interrogate the multitudinous forces that have defined and continue to shape regional societies, examining overlapping forms of cosmopolitanism, circulation, inequality, and exploitation.”
Through the pages of Monsoon, the Indian Ocean will be more legible to readers across disciplines and fields of specialization, and thus the journal will help to propel Indian Ocean studies further. The journal will publish original, cutting-edge research essays as well as special thematic issues that provide analysis of cultural, historical, and political circumstances that have shaped, and currently affect, the littoral societies of the Indian Ocean. In this way, Monsoon aims to be a leading contributor to the field of Indian Ocean studies.
“Being an interdisciplinary academic research institute, The Africa Institute is proud of this collaboration with Duke University Press, as it facilitates our dedication to the study, research, and documentation of Africa globally, and exploration of new frontiers of lesser explored African diasporas across the Indian Ocean rim,” said Salah M. Hassan, Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah, and Cornell University Professor.
This is further affirmed by Hoor Al-Qasimi, the President of The Africa Institute who said, “the Institute has already begun to consolidate its place in global African studies through its rich programs of research, fellowships, publications, and public outreach.”
Rob Dilworth, Journals Director, Duke University Press said, “We are excited to collaborate with The Africa Institute to publish Monsoon. The journal will raise the profile of Indian Ocean studies, ensure that Africa and the Western Indian Ocean are represented and highlighted in the field, and help Duke University Press fulfill its ongoing goal to publish periodicals in new areas. The journal will be an excellent addition to our list of books and journals and add to its deep interdisciplinarity. The Press will provide strong publishing services and partnership management as well as a history of growing and sustaining new journals. Our partnership with The Africa Institute will benefit both the Institute and the Press—two mission-driven organizations.”
Duke University Press is a nonprofit scholarly publisher with a focus on the humanities, the social sciences, and mathematics. The Press publishes approximately 140 books annually and around 60 journals, as well as offering several electronic collections and open-access publishing initiatives.
The Africa Institute and Duke University Press are keen to expand knowledge on the connections forged across diverse environments and cultures because of the monsoon. Monsoon will follow a double-blind review process to determine originality, creativity, theoretical sophistication, clarity of writing, and contribution to the field. Special emphasis will be placed on the quality of writing as this will enhance our efforts to reach the widest possible audience.
Download Press Release here.
Sataan Al Hassan, Associate Director of Administration & Operations, The Africa Institute
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