Nidhi Mahajan

Dr. Nidhi Mahajan is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of California – Santa Cruz and is also the inaugural Fatima Mernissi Postdoctoral Fellow in Social and Cultural Studies at The Africa Institute - Sharjah. Her research examines transregional maritime connections across the Indian Ocean through shipping and trade networks, ports, and their entanglements with state sovereignty. She is currently working on her book manuscript Moorings: The Dhow Trade, States and Capital Across the Indian Ocean. The book explores the mutually constituted relationship between mobility, capitalism, and sovereignty in the Indian Ocean, examining how mobile dhow networks have been pushed into the underbelly of the global economy. Based on archival and ethnographic research across India, Kenya, the UK, Tanzania, the UAE, and Qatar the book examines how the dhow trade has articulated with different state forms to become a crucial intermediary between local, regional, and global circuits of exchange.

She has published in journals such as Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Island Studies Journal and edited volumes such as World on the Horizon, and Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds. Nidhi is also an artist and has also developed multi-media exhibitions for the Fort Jesus Museum in Mombasa; Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi, and the 2019 Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

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