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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Johan Mathew


Assistant Professor

(On leave 2013-14)

Office: Herter 711
Telephone: (413) 545-6706
Fax: (413) 545-6137

Degree: Ph.D., Harvard University (2012).
Fields of interest: The Indian Ocean, South Asia, the Middle East, Economic History, Transnational History, Maritime History

Research Interests and Professional Activities:
Johan Mathew specializes in the history of the Indian Ocean with a focus on illicit trade and commercial regulation in the 19th and 20th centuries. His article "Trafficking Labor: Abolition and the Exchange of Labor across the Arabian Sea" appeared in the journal Slavery & Abolition in the spring of 2012. He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism in the Arabian Sea, which is based on his Ph.D. Dissertation. The manuscript explores the trafficking of people, weapons and currency in order to delineate how illicit trade and commercial regulation framed colonial capitalism. Mathew has received awards and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the South Asia Initiative at Harvard, the Business History Conference, and the Shelby Collum Davis Center at Princeton University. He teaches courses on the economics of piracy, slavery in the Muslim World, and the history of the Indian Ocean.