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Since the late 1960s, Michael Pearson’s work has been at the forefront of the
study of the Indian Ocean World. Pearson’s unparalleled contribution to the
field has long been recognized by his pears. In 1981, the famed historian of
Goa, Teotonio R. de Souza, wrote in an introduction to one of Pearson’s books
that it ‘will stand out as the best effort on the part of a non-Indian historian
to do justice to the Indian component of Indo-Portuguese history.’ In 2004,
Pearson spoke to this acclaim in an interview with Frederick Noronha, a journalist-publisher based in Goa. He said: ‘Certainly this is what I have wanted
to achieve when I write about the Portuguese in India: to locate them in the
Indian context in which they operated and by which they were constrained.
This is a deliberate attempt to counter the triumphalism, and even racism, of
much Portuguese writing on their empire.’ But Pearson’s influence was not
limited to Goa and the coastal western India. Across nearly four decades of
work, Pearson was always a leader in developing the longue durée approach to
studying the Indian Ocean World.
To honor this influence, the editors of the Journal of Indian Ocean World
Studies have compiled an exhaustive bibliography of Michael Pearson’s work.
They have also appended short descriptions to some of his most important
texts. Limited space meant that abstracts could not be attached to each reference. The editors decided that where they existed, abstracts written by Pearson or his co-editors would be prioritized. They then selected some of his works without abstracts to write their own abstracts or mini reviews (indicated with **). Particular prominence has been given to some of his earlier, lesser-known works. The intention was to use the space to reflect the diversity of Pearson’s research, while highlighting some of its core themes.