The Black Indian Ocean: Slavery, Religion, and Identity (1400-1700)

Event time: 
Friday, January 26, 2024 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
Webinar See map
Janie Cole and multiple guest speakers
Event description: 

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music will host a one-day webinar and interdisciplinary symposium organized by ISM fellow Dr. Janie Cole. “The Black Indian Ocean: Slavery, Religion, and Identity (1400-1700)” will explore new perspectives on the impact of slavery and patterns of migration and displacement across the Indian Ocean on Afro-Asian communities, their cultural manifestations and soundscapes, and how religion, faith and ritual were articulated in acts of identity, oppression, and resistance in the early modern world.

The conference takes its starting point from the earliest surviving biography of an Ethiopian slave, Gabriel, a 16th-century Beta Israel Jew sold into slavery in the Arab world where he converted to Islam. It traces his woeful wanderings between faiths, love and persecution in Asia to his final encounters with the brutal Inquisition in Goa, a story captured in a musical narrative, “Gabriel’s Odyssey”, by the Kukutana Ensemble.

Below is the detailed schedule for the day:

10 a.m.-12.15 p.m. EST

Janie Cole (Yale University): Welcome and Opening Remarks

Panel I: Identities: Reconstructing Early Modern Slave Narratives

Ananya Chakravarti (Georgetown University)

Matteo Salvadore (American University of Sharjah)

Mark Aranha (University of the Witwatersrand, Kukutana Ensemble)

Bronwen Clacherty (University of Cape Town, Kukutana Ensemble)

Tesfamichael Yayeh Hussen (Addis Ababa University, Kukutana Ensemble)

Grasella Luigi (Ethiopian National Theatre, Kukutana Ensemble)

Cara Stacey (University of the Witwatersrand, Kukutana Ensemble)

Kristy Stone (University of the Western Cape, Kukutana Ensemble)

Conor Ralphs (Kukutana Ensemble)

15-min break

12:30-2 p.m.

Panel II: Communities: East Africa in Asia

Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London)

Jazmin Graves Eyssallenne (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

Sumangala Damodaran (Ambedkar University)

15-min break

2:15-3.45 p.m.

Panel III: Mobilities: Slavery and Ritual in the Indian Ocean

Neelima Jeychandran (Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar)

Omar Ali (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

Pedro Machado (Indiana University)

3.45-4 p.m.

Concluding Remarks and Future Projects

Open To: