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Janet J. Ewald, Associate Professor

Janet J. Ewald

My specialty in the history of Africa has led me, in both my teaching and research, to explore how Africans participated in the major currents of world history since about 1700. My first book Soldiers, Traders, and Slaves: State Formation and Economic Transformation in the Greater Nile Valley, 1700-1885 uses oral traditions as well as written sources to reconstruct how people in a dangerous frontier zone responded to predatory empires, commercial capitalism, slave raiding, and militant Islam. The book, as well as several articles, analyzes not only how people constructed a small kingdom but also how they continually reconstructed their memories of that kingdom. Following the paths of slaves from the Nile valley led me to the shores of the Indian Ocean and beyond. I have now embarked on a second major project, "Motley Crews: Indian and African Seafarers on English Vessels in the Indian Ocean, c. 1600-1900." The project analyzes two forms of labor control--indentures and slavery--in a maritime setting. Not only Africans, but also Asians and Europeans, are the main actors; center stage is the Indian Ocean bounded by the crescent of shore from Bombay through the Arabian coast to the African Swahili coast; the action takes lace in the tumultuous centuries, especially after 1750, when a system of slavery rose and fell; Asian and African autonomy gave way to European dominance; and steam engines replaced sailing vessels on the ocean.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  316 Carr Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 684-4280
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2017):

  • HISTORY 89S.01, FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR (TOP) Synopsis
    Friedl Bdg 118, MW 08:30 AM-09:45 AM
  • HISTORY 152S.01, GTWY SEM-HISTORY AT SEA Synopsis
    Crowell 107, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as ICS 152S.01)
Teaching (Spring 2018):

  • HISTORY 152S.01, GTWY SEM-HISTORY AT SEA Synopsis
    Carr 135, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    (also cross-listed as ICS 152S.01)
  • HISTORY 205.01, HEALTH AND HEALING IN AFRICA Synopsis
    Carr 240, WF 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as GLHLTH 205.01)
Education:

Ph.D.University of Wisconsin at Madison1982
M.A.University of Wisconsin at Madison1975
B.A.University of Wisconsin at Madison1973
Specialties:

Comparative Colonial Studies
Labor and Working Class History
Medieval and Early Modern History
African, Middle East and Asia
Global and Comparative
Research Interests:

Current projects: I enjoy reading novels and discussing them; following Carolina Hurricanes hockey and Duke women's basketball; walking; swimming; communing with my cats; cooking, especially vegetarian and my own versions of Asian cuisine; traveling.

My specialty in the history of Africa has led me, in both my teaching and research, to explore how Africans participated in the major currents of world history since about 1700. My first book Soldiers, Traders, and Slaves: State Formation and Economic Transformation in the Greater Nile Valley, 1700-1885 uses oral traditions as well as written sources to reconstruct how people in a dangerous frontier zone responded to predatory empires, commercial capitalism, slave raiding, and militant Islam. The book, as well as several articles, analyzes not only how people constructed a small kingdom but also how they continually reconstructed their memories of that kingdom. Following the paths of slaves from the Nile valley led me to the shores of the Indian Ocean and beyond. I have now embarked on a second major project, "Motley Crews: Indian and African Seafarers on English Vessels in the Indian Ocean, c. 1600-1900." The project analyzes two forms of labor control--indentures and slavery--in a maritime setting. Not only Africans, but also Asians and Europeans, are the main actors; center stage is the Indian Ocean bounded by the crescent of shore from Bombay through the Arabian coast to the African Swahili coast; the action takes lace in the tumultuous centuries, especially after 1750, when a system of slavery rose and fell; Asian and African autonomy gave way to European dominance; and steam engines replaced sailing vessels on the ocean.

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

    Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

    1. Ewald, JJ, African Bondsmen, Freedmen, and the Maritime Proletariats of the Northwestern Indian Ocean World, c1500-1900, in INDIAN OCEAN SLAVERY IN THE AGE OF ABOLITION, edited by Harms, R; Freamon, BK; Blight, DW (October, 2013), pp. 200-222, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-16387-2
    2. Ewald, JJ, Reviews of Gopalan Balachandran, Globalizing Labour? Indian Seafarers and World Shipping, c. 1870-1945 with a response by Gopalan Balachandran, International Journal of Maritime History, vol. 25 no. 1 (September, 2013), pp. 275-314, ISSN 0843-8714
    3. J.J. Ewald, Roundtable Review of G. Balachandran, GLOBALIZING LAROUR? INDIAN SEAFARERS AND WORLD SHIPPING, c1870-1945, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY, vol. XXV no. 1 (June, 2013), pp. 275-282
    4. Ewald, JJ, Bondsmen, Freedmen, and Maritime Industrial Transportation, c. 1840-1900, Slavery and Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies, vol. 31 no. 3 (September, 2010), pp. 451-466 [doi]  [abs]
    5. Ewald JJ, , Slave Trade: The Indian Ocean, c1750-1880, in in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, edited by Peter N. Stearns (Spring, 2008), Oxford University Press . edit (2008)

    American Council for Learned Societies; Carter G. Woodson Institute Fellow; Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow; National Humanities Center Fellow; American Institutes for Yemeni Studies fellowship for research in Yemen; Trent Foundation; American Philosophical Society; various awards for developing courses in Atlantic and Indian Ocean history.


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