Hello, my name is Jodie 

I am interested in the ways people connect across space

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Nice to meet you. I'm Jodie Marshall.

I am a cultural historian studying East Africa and its links elsewhere in the Indian Ocean and the world. 

My interest in the region began through work on Kenya and the British Empire at University of Vermont. I am now a Doctoral Candidate at Michigan State University, where these interests have developed through the program's excellent African History resources and my work with the Migration With(out) Borders conference.


My current research is on the history of migration between Zanzibar and Oman. In this project, I renarrate the history of these connections from the point of view of the non-elites who are often excluded from scholarship on Arabs in East Africa.

What did it mean to be a transnational family?


Separation from one's loved ones? An expansion of economic options? A more international point of view? Access to foods and materials from abroad? Increased financial burden? 

My research seeks to understand how the answer to this question has changed for transnational families living between Zanzibar and Oman over the course of the twentieth century.

Progress towards Completion

I am in the final stages of writing my dissertation, “Immobility in a Sea of Migration: biographical histories of transnational families in Zanzibar and Oman, ca 1850-2019," which I will defend in March 2021.

I am grateful for fellowships from Fulbright Hays DDRA and Fulbright IIE for supporting this research. And to the endowed MSU History Department Milton E. Muelder Award for supporting my writing. 

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