Tubman Speaker Series: Dr. Hideaki Suzuki on narratives of bonded population in the Persian Gulf

Dr. Hideaki SuzukiThe Tubman Speaker Series is pleased to announce a talk by Dr. Hideaki Suzuki: “To Listen to Them: Bondage, British Informal Empire, and Diasporas through the Narratives of Bonded Population in the Persian Gulf, 1906-1950” on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 from 3:30-5:00PM at 305 Founders College, Keele Campus.

This talk will focus on bonded population in the first half of the twentieth century in the Persian Gulf. Historically, labour intensive pearl fishery and date cultivation have been the major industries in this region, and in the second half of the nineteenth century, they were the driving forces to connect it to the global economy. Dr. Suzuki is currently collecting and analyzing testimonies of bonded population which were recorded by the British representatives during the first half of the twentieth century. These testimonies were recorded when the bonded fled to the British representatives in order to receive their manumission certificates. He regards these testimonies as quite valuable sources of information which enable us to explore their individual lives and even glimpse into their inner emotional lives. The number of the testimonies also show several trends observed from analyzing these testimonies by factors such as age structure, sex ratio, and occupation.  During this talk, Dr. Suzuki will explore the potential of these testimonies for further research and scholarship and he will discuss the methodology involved in handling these testimonies. Dr. Suzuki will then trace the life-cycle stages of these bonded population to observe general trends as well as illustrate several individual experiences.

Dr.Hideaki Suzuki is currently a visiting researcher at the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) at McGill University. He is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Japan Society for Promoting Science (JSPS).  He received his PhD degree from University of Tokyo in 2010 with his thesis on slave traders in the nineteenth century western Indian Ocean. His interest is mainly on the Indian Ocean history including slave trade, merchant network, merveilles literatures in medieval Arabic and Chinese. He has published several articles in academic journals as well as book chapters in Japanese and English. Dr. Suzuki’s recent publications include: “Enslaved Population and Indian Owners along the East African Coast: Exploring the Rigby Manumission List, 1860-1861,” History in Africa, 39 (2012); “To trace the ways they passed: Slave accounts in the 19th Century western Indian Ocean” in Alice Bellagamba et al. (eds.), African Voices on Slavery and the Slave Trade: Vol.1, the Sources, Cambridge University Press (2013).

See more of our Tubman Speaker Series for 2013/2014 and the Working Paper Series.

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