The Indian Ocean during the Cold War: Thinking through a Critical Geography

Publication Type:

Journal Article


History Compass, Volume 11, p.524–530 (2013)



As part of a forum on the Indian Ocean, this article argues for the continued importance of the region during the Cold War. It describes how this period introduced new great power rivalries – namely, the United States and Soviet Union – but, as a result, reflected continuities with preceding centuries. This recent era is consequently indispensable for understanding ongoing patterns of history, in addition to providing a vital backdrop to our political present.

African Futures

As major transformations unfold, our understanding of Africa, its past, its future and its relation to the world seems to be caught between two contending paradigms. The first is shaped by the discourse of crisis and disaster, emergency and survival. The second is future-oriented. It is preoccupied with Africa’s shifting position within the global economy and its apparent rise, the material and virtual flows and the infrastructures that connect Africa to its diasporas and the broader world, and to the social and aesthetic experiences of its inhabitants. This project will take stock of the contending discourses on African futures. It aims at drawing together in robust conversation a broad range of parallel debates currently going on in areas as diverse as literature, science-fiction, music and digital technologies, economics, futures markets, demography and public health, environmental studies, arts, design and fashion. It will also tease out the theoretical and practical implications of these discourses and the extent to which Afro-futurism could be read against similar trends elsewhere, in China, India, Russia and Brazil in particular.

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