PhD Candidate, ABD

Michigan State University

Current Research

I'm interested in the emotive, cultural, and material histories of transnational families.

Last summer I met a woman wearing Swahili fabrics market places in Oman. She invited me back to her home, where she served me Zanzibari food and introduced me to her family. She and her family chatted with me in Swahili about how the Zanzibari restaurants that are all over Oman are good, but not compared to the African food that she makes at home. 

This woman's experience and that of her family has been shaped by generations of circular migration between Zanzibar and Oman. 

My research examines transnational family networks between Zanzibar and Oman over the course of the 20th century. 

My project centers the intimate spaces of family life, arguing that these spaces were key sites in the creation of an Omani-Zanzibari transnational community infrastructure. 

Themes

 

Migration, mobility,  and transnationalism

The intimate and personal as political

Families and lineage

Gender

Conceptualizations of space

Food and clothing

Dissertation and Publication Plans

Dissertation working title: Living between Zanzibar and Oman: A Social History of 20th Century Transnational Families

Estimated date of dissertation defense: spring 2020

Possible article and presentation topics based on this research: 

  • Post-Revolution life in Pemba 

  • History of Zanzibari food in Oman 

  • A Microhistory of Slavery and Oil

  • Halwa: the social life of a dessert