Planned Research Group A02 “Changes in the World of Islamic Thought and Knowledge” will hold a workshop “Connectivity Seen in Port Cities of India during the Early Modern Period” with Planned Research Group C01 “Analyses of Connectivity by Digital Humanities Method.”
Date & Time: September 30, 2021, 9:30–11:30
Presentation: Shinsaku KATO (ILCAA/A02)
“Connectivity Seen in Port Cities of India during the Early Modern Period: A Case of Surat”
Commentator: Kazuhiro ARAI (Keio University/C01)
Venue: Online meeting via Zoom, Open to public/Admission free, Pre-registration is required.
Pre-registration: Please use the form for pre-registration.
Co-organizer: Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Changes in the World of Islamic Thought and Knowledge” (Principal Investigator: Jin NODA (ILCAA, TUFS); 20H05825)/Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Analyses of Connectivity by Digital Humanities Method” (Principal Investigator: Wakako KUMAKURA (ILCAA, TUFS); 20H05830)
Contact: Shinsaku KATO (shin_kato[at]aa.tufs.ac.jp)
In this workshop, Mr. Kato showed communication between the Mughal government and the East India Companies, and networks of merchants in port cities in the early modern India, mainly based on a case of Surat during the Mughal period. He pointed out that Persian and Portuguese were important in communication between the Mughal government and the East India Companies and the companies employed non-Muslim natives as interpreter and translator, while the Dutch East India Company hired Muslims as well, if necessary, when it negotiated with Muslim officials. Mr. Kato also demonstrated that merchants in Surat formed cooperative relationship both with those who shared the same religious beliefs and with those who had different faith, depending on circumstances.
For further research, Professor Arai, as commentator, suggested the important role of interpreters and translators as a buffer in cross-cultural interaction to prevent disputes, and the possibility that Islam sometimes discouraged connectivity formation between Muslims and non-Muslims in cosmopolitan center like Surat. It was also suggested from participants that it be important to analyze the process of relationship formation by Muslim merchants based on case study.