Life of Infrastructure: Roundtable: The Indian Ocean and Other Middle Easts

An issue of: Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Life of Infrastructure
Journal Issue Pages: 224 Volume 34, Number 3 Published: December 2014 An issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Life of Infrastructure. Infrastructures are both durable yet fragile, hidden but ever present, solidly embedded in the collective world yet open to speculation and uncertainty. The essays in this section of CSSAAME explore the many ways in which, whether as scholars or as political subjects, we think about forms of infrastructure and make them a focus of collective life. The essays also consider how infrastructures can enable, transform, or inhibit ways of thinking and living collectively.

Roundtable: The Indian Ocean and Other Middle Easts. The five contributors invited to take part in this themed section were given free rein to explore any number of theoretical or practical connections between the fields of Middle Eastern and Indian Ocean studies. Collectively their articles weave an intricate web of crosscutting interregional linkages and overlapping arenas articulating different layers and densities of connections across multiple metageographical and temporal scales. And while there is significant geographical and topical overlap among the forum’s essays, four of which converge around Mecca and the hajj and the Oman-Zanzibar axis, their divergent disciplinary, methodological, and historiographical approaches provide us with a glimpse of the almost infinite permutations made possible by bringing the intellectual preoccupations of one or more area studies regions to bear on one another.

Kitabkhana. Patterns of Empire: The British and American Empires, 1688 to the Present. Antoinette Burton, Dane Kennedy, Jonathan Hyslop, Renisa Mawani, Mithi Mukherjee, Jeff Sahadeo, Augusto Espiritu, and Julian Go discuss the historiograpihical implications of Go's Patterns of Empire: The British and American Empires, 1688 to the Present.

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