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24 September - Public Lecture - Sultana: The Odyssey of an Omani-Zanzibari Ship in Nineteenth Century America

Tuesday, 27 August, 2019
Public Lecture
Sultana: The Odyssey of an Omani-Zanzibari Ship in Nineteenth Century America
Dr. Jeremy Prestholdt
University of California, San Diego
Tuesday, 24 September
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Ahmad bin Na'aman Al Kaabi (d. 1869) [First Arab emissary to visit the United States]
This lecture explores the remarkable journey of the Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar’s flagship, the Sultana, to New York City in 1840. Sultan Sayyid Saʿīd sought to capitalize on new commercial networks beyond the Indian Ocean and so dispatched his flagship to the United States with iconic regional products: Zanzibari cloves, East African ivory, Omani dates, Yemeni coffee, and Persian carpets. The Sultana’s Arab, African, Persian, and Indian crew captured headlines across the US, and the ship’s officers were fêted in New York. This lecture reconsiders the Sultana’s voyage, a journey that encapsulated the ambitions of the Omani-Zanzibari state and its links with distant world regions. Indeed, the odyssey of the Sultana offers an extraordinary window on the relationship between the Sultanate of Oman-Zanzibar and the US, and it stands as a testament to the role of Southern Arabia and East Africa in shaping emergent global relationships. 
Jeremy Prestholdt is Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego specializing in African, Indian Ocean, and global history with emphases on consumer culture and politics. His first book, Domesticating the World (2008), focused on nineteenth century Zanzibar, East African demands for imported goods, and how these shaped global exchanges. His most recent book, Icons of Dissent (2019), develops a global history of the modern icon. It traces the historical intersections of consumer culture and politics in the global resonance of figures such as Che Guevara, Bob Marley, Osama bin Laden, and Tupac Shakur. He is currently writing about the 1840 journey of the Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar’s flagship to the United States.
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