Annual Conference "Oman and the Indian Ocean: Interaction and Exchange"
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
On October 29th 2013, the conference "Oman and the Indian Ocean:
Interaction and Exchange" was held at the University of Chicago. The
event, co-sponsored by the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center and the Center
for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, brought
scholars from the U.S. and abroad together to share their knowledge on
Oman and the Indian Ocean region.
Distinguished attendees included Her Excellency Ambassador Hunaina Al
Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States and
Board Chair of SQCC and His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Sunaidy, Minister of
Commerce and Industry, Sultanate of Oman, and His Excellency Ambassador
Mohamed Al Hassan, Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Sultanate of Oman.
Professor Fred Donner, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern
Studies, Her Excellency Ambassador Al Mughairy and His Excellency Dr. Al
Sunaidy addressed the audience with welcoming remarks. The morning
session of the conference included a panel centered on Oman’s history
and cultural heritage in which His Excellency Ambassador Al Hassan
delivered a panel presentation. Concluding the first session was a
panel on maritime trade in the Indian Ocean region. The afternoon
session of the conference opened with a panel on the circulation of
ideas and people in the Indian Ocean followed by a final panel on Ibadi
The conference agenda is below, and photos of the event can be seen in our Photo Gallery.
Sponsored by: The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC), Washington, D.C.
and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago
29 October 2013
University of Chicago; Swift Hall, Room 310
Welcoming Remarks, 9:00
Professor Fred Donner, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago
- Her Excellency Ambassador Hunaina Sultan Al Mughairy, Ambassador
of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States and Board Chair, Sultan
Qaboos Cultural Center
- His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sultanate of Oman
Panel 1. Oman’s history and cultural heritage in global context, 9:15 – 10:30
His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Al Hassan, Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman
- Allen Fromherz (Georgia State University & SQCC Research
Fellow) “Oman and World History: Diversity, Divergence and the Longue
- Amal Ghazal (Dalhousie University, Canada) "Mediating Modernity in the Indian Ocean: Omani Fatwas and Zanzibari Cosmopolitanism"
Panel 2. Circulation of commodities and trade, 10:45 – 12:15
Elizabeth Lambourn (De Montfort University, UK) “Seer, Kan‘ad and
Shir Mahi: Fish and Foodways in the Medieval Economy of the Western
- Engseng Ho (Duke University) “Dubai and Singapore: Commerce and Constitution of Indian Ocean Port-Cities”
- Fahad Bishara (The College of William and Mary) "A Sea of Debt:
Obligation, Personhood, and Political Economy in 19th-century Oman and
Panel 3. Circulation of ideas and people, 13:45 – 15:15
Iza Hussin (University of Chicago) "Travelling Law: Indian Ocean Itineraries"
- Thomas McDow (George Mason University) "Interior Dialogue: Connecting Arabian and African Hinterlands through Oceanic Networks"
Panel 4. Ibadi thought, 15:30 – 16:30
Valerie Hoffman (University of Illinois) “Mysticism, Rationalism and
Puritanism in Modern Omani Ibadism (18th–Early 20th Century)”
- Adam Gaiser (Florida State University) “‘You are a sinner, not an unbeliever’: Boundary Themes in Early Khārijite Poetry”
Monday, 04 November, 2013