Review: Burkhard Schnepel and Julia Verne (eds.), Cargoes in Motion: Materiality and Connectivity Across the Indian Ocean. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2022

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Martha Chaiklin


Much of history, human or otherwise, is predicated on movement, because transition and change are the linchpins to marking the progress of time. Change makes a better story than stability. It therefore follows that over the last half century or so, a large body of literature devoted to the various topics and aspects of trade and migration has been produced by scholars from a mélange of disciplines. Cargoes in Motion differs from the preponderance of this research in two key aspects: the emphasis on a material culture approach, and the disciplinary range of the contributors.

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