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Queen's University

Amitava Chowdhury 

chowdury.jpg Associate Professor

Global, World and Transnational History; British Caribbean; British Colonial History 19th-20th centuries; Indian Ocean World; Atlantic History; Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation Labour; Diasporas.

On leave 2014-15


Office: Watson Hall 231
Phone: 613-533-6000, ext: 74368
Fax: 613-533-6298
Twitter: @amitava8


Ph.D., Washington State University
M.A., Deccan College Research Institute
B.A., Jadavpur University


Amitava Chowdhury is an historian and historical archaeologist of agrarian labour regimes and colonial plantations in the British Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. His book, Horizons of Memory, looks at identity and subject formation of Indian indentured labourers in post-emancipation British Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. Previously, between 2001-2004, Dr. Chowdhury was engaged in historical archaeology of colonial Mauritius, and two of his excavated sites, Aapravasi Ghat and Le Morne Brabant, were subsequently inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. He is particularly interested in the meaning and theory of World History, and is actively engaged in research on South Asian diasporas and diaspora theories.

Dr. Chowdhury is the Managing Editor of The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, and a collaborating member of the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University.

Graduate Supervision

Non-Hispanic Colonial Caribbean (18th-20th centuries); Indian Ocean; British Colonial History (19th-20th centuries); South Asian Diasporas; Global, World, and Transnational History.



HIST 122: Making of the Modern World
HIST 205: The Atlantic World
HIST 303: History of the Caribbean in a Global Perspective
HIST 435: World History – Theory and Methodology


HIST 804: The Atlantic World
HIST 825: Approaches to World and Transnational History



Horizons of Memory: Indian Indentured Labor and Identity in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. [Completed book manuscript under review]

The Atlantic World of Alexander Innes: Voyages of a Nineteenth Century Itinerant(document with a critical introduction, under discussion with McGill-Queen's University Press).

2003. Aapravasi Ghat: Past and Present: Archaeological Investigations. Port Louis, Mauritius: Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund. ISBN: 9990373108.

Edited Books:

Between dispersion and belonging: Recent advances in diaspora studies (with Donald H. Akenson) forthcoming 2015.

Dimensions of slavery in the Indian Ocean: New perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches (with Gwyn Campbell). Under discussion with Palgrave-Macmillan.

Editor of Journal Special Issue:

Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, volume 38, issue 76. Theme: "Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange, and Human Network in the British Caribbean." Autumn 2014.

Chapters and Articles:

2014. (in press) “Maroon Archaeological Research in Mauritius and its Possible Implications in a Global Context.” In Lydia Wilson Marshall, ed. The Archaeology of Slavery: Toward a Comparative Global Framework. (CAI, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 2014).

2014. (forthcoming) "“The Last Dodos”: Colonization and the Extinction of the Dodo in Southwestern Indian Ocean" In Gwyn Campbell ed. Enslavement, Bondage and the Environment in the Indian Ocean World(Palgrave Macmillan).

2014. (forthcoming) “Maritime marronage and trans-imperial diplomatic consequences of the British Emancipation, 1834-1848.” In Hideaki Suzuki, ed. “Abolitions” as A Global Experience. (National University of Singapore Press).

2014. (forthcoming) “Knowledge transfer, product exchange, and human networks in the Caribbean – Forum editor’s introduction” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies38, no. 76.

2014. “Le petit marronnage comme processus d'adaptation épisodique dans l'île Maurice : les données relevées sur le terrain et leur pertinence globale.” In Archéologie de l’esclavage colonial edited by André Delpuech and Jean-Paul Jacob, 261-273. Paris: Éditions La Découverte, Paris, 2014.

2012. “Exploring an “old verbal ambiguity”: East Indian ethnicity and identity in Trinidad and the British Caribbean.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 37, no. 73 (Spring 2012): 209-220.

2007. “Marronage in Mauritius and its possible implications for Caribbean Archaeology.” Proceedings of the Twenty-first congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, Volume 2, pp. 567-572. (with Candice Goucher)

2006. “The symbolic and archaeological significance of Le Morne Brabant: A fugitive slave site of Mauritius.” Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology 3: 50-61. 2005. “Handedness: The archaeological record.” Man and Environment 30 (2): 90-96. (with Manas K. Mandal)

2003. “Towards an Archaeological Heritage Management of Aapravasi Ghat.” Journal of Mauritian Studies, New Series Vol. 2 (1): 87-104. 2003. “Theoretical Reflections on Maroon Archaeology in Mauritius.” Revi Kiltir Kreol. Vol. 3: 55-59.

2003. “Theoretical Reflections on Maroon Archaeology in Mauritius.” Revi Kiltir Kreol. Vol. 3: 55-59.

Short Articles

2008. “Indentured labor” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 3, 93-95.

2008. “Coolie Trade” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 2, 339-341.

2008. “Diasporas: An overview” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 2, 510-13.

2008. “Slavery: Antislavery in Britain” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 7, 23-25

2008. “Slave Trade: Abolition in Britain” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World, Volume 7, 35-37.

2007. “Marronage in Mauritius” in Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion, Edited by Junius P. Rodriguez. Volume I, pp. 313-315. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.

Consultancy Reports

2004. Le Morne and Black River Gorges World Heritage Site Nomination dossier: Document of Archaeological Significance, submitted to the Ministry of Arts of Culture, Government of Mauritius.

2003. Maroon Slave Archaeological Investigation Project in the Republic of Mauritius. Submitted to the National Heritage Trust, Mauritius.

2002. Scientific Survey and Archaeological Heritage Management of Aapravasi Ghat. For Ministry of Arts and Culture, Government of Mauritius.

2002. Report on Archaeological Investigations of Maroon Slave sites on Le Morne, Mauritius, for NHTF, Ministry of Arts and Culture. Various reviews in World History Connected; Itinerario; Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Research groups and workshops organized

2013. Queen's University Initiative in Diaspora Studies. Inaugural Workshop, September 19, 2013.

          Canadian Caribbean Studies Research Group. Inaugural Workshop, March 2013.

2011. Queen's University Symposium on Oceanic History, March 2011.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000