Postponed: “Indians at Sea: In search of Chola, Kunjali, and Maratha maritime history on the coasts of India” with Judith Katz and Grant Rhode

In this presentation, Ms. Katz and Dr. Rhode will talk about three of the most important episodes in pre-modern Indian maritime history: 1) the 11th century Indian east coast Chola Kingdom, whose navy stopped the Srivijaya Kingdom of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula from extorting excessive duties on China-India trade; 2) the 16th century successful resistance to the Portuguese by the Kunjali Marakkar, Muslim admirals serving the Hindu King of Calicut in the west coast Kerala state; and 3) the 18th century successful resistance to the British by the Maratha Kingdom and their Admirals from the Angre clan in Maharashtra state south of Mumbai.

For the past six years, Judy and Grant have been traveling in Asia to visit sites related to important events in Eurasian maritime history between the 11th and 18th centuries. Indian maritime history tends to be less well known in Western circles than Chinese maritime history, but it is both profound and full of colorful events and characters.

Judy and Grant travel with a research focus, but keep wide peripheral vision open to the many fascinations of travel. Thus, the talk will not only include history, primarily by Grant, but also culture, primarily by Judy. The talk will include a look at currently operating dhow yards in Oman and India, and the important Tang Dynasty wreck now brought up from the sea and displayed in Singapore.

About the Presenters:
Ms. Katz is Director of Development at Primary Source, a non-profit organization that trains teachers nationwide in global education. Her business background includes having managed an international political risk analysis group in the banking industry. Judy speaks Arabic, useful in Asia, including along the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, and surprisingly, in the old city of Xi’an in mid-western China.

Dr. Rhode teaches international relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and strategy and policy at the Naval War College. Trained in Chinese and in Asian diplomatic history, he is also a Research Associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Grant has served as a volunteer at Herreshoff Marine Museum, working in the archives.

  • Reception begins at 6pm
  • Lecture begins at 7pm
  • Tickets are $15 for Members and $20 for Non-Members
  • Tickets are not refundable but they are transferable.