Think City with the support from Eastern and Oriental Group would like to cordially invite you to a book launch of Dr Sunil Amrith’s latest book entitled “Crossing the Bay of Bengal”. The book, published by Harvard University Press, is part of a wider research project led by Dr Amrith on the Indian Ocean.
The book launch is part of Think City’s wider Penang & the Indian Ocean initiative working with our partners the Penang Heritage Trust, Universiti Sains Malaysia and the George Town World Heritage Incorporated.
Details of the Event:
Date : Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Venue: Cornwallis Suite @ Eastern and Oriental Hotel
Time : 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Kindly please RSVP with Ms. Kartina at 04 222 6955 or Kartina.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Indian Ocean was global long before the Atlantic, and today the countries bordering the Bay of Bengal—India, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia—are home to one in four people on Earth. Crossing the Bay of Bengal places this region at the heart of world history for the first time. Integrating human and environmental history, and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil Amrith gives a revelatory and stirring new account of the Bay and those who have inhabited it.
For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and then as a battleground for European empires, all while being shaped by the monsoons and by human migration. Imperial powers in the nineteenth century, abetted by the force of capital and the power of steam, reconfigured the Bay in their quest for coffee, rice, and rubber. Millions of Indian migrants crossed the sea, bound by debt or spurred by drought, and filled with ambition. Booming port cities like Singapore and Penang became the most culturally diverse societies of their time. By the 1930s, however, economic, political, and environmental pressures began to erode the Bay’s centuries-old patterns of interconnection.
Today, rising waters leave the Bay of Bengal’s shores especially vulnerable to climate change, at the same time that its location makes it central to struggles over Asia’s future. Amrith’s evocative and compelling narrative of the region’s pasts offers insights critical to understanding and confronting the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead.
About the Author:
Sunil Amrith is a historian of modern South Asia, with a particular interest in South Asia’s inter-regional and global connections. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in History from the University of Cambridge.
Sunil Amrith’s research focuses on the movement of people, ideas, and institutions between South and Southeast Asia. His recent work has been on the Bay of Bengal as a region of cultural and political interaction, focusing on the history of migration, and on environmental history. For more detail, please go to: http://sunilamrith.wordpress.com/
Sunil has been awarded a “Starting Grant” of 890,000 Euroas by the European Research Council to support a new project on the environmental history of the Bay of Bengal littoral. “Coastal Frontiers: Water, Power and the Boundaries of South Asia” will run from 2012 to 2017: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/history/coastalfrontiers/