About us

Ratnakara, a Sanskrit term for “ocean” and “repository of jewels”, encapsulates the rationale behind our research group.

We envisage the Indian Ocean as a mine of cultural experience with multiple connections that link the countries of its western shores with the Indian subcontinent, a relationship that was thriving centuries before the Europeans set foot in the area thanks to the Monsoon winds.

Our group seeks to uncover the richness of the cultures and literatures of the region, ranging from Kenya to South Africa and not forgetting Mauritius, the star and key to the Indian Ocean.

The logo of our group is the tanzanite gem.  These precious stones are found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.  The colour of the tanzanite runs from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue, surrounded by a delicate hint of purple.  The polychromaticity of the tanzanite depends on the angle from which you look at it, this being the perfect metaphor for the rich variety of Indian Ocean cultures that Ratnakara studies.

Ratnakara  is recognised by the Catalan Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR), reference:  2017 SGR 166

About us

Ratnakara, a Sanskrit term for “ocean” and “repository of jewels”, encapsulates the rationale behind our research group.

We envisage the Indian Ocean as a mine of cultural experience with multiple connections that link the countries of its western shores with the Indian subcontinent, a relationship that was thriving centuries before the Europeans set foot in the area thanks to the Monsoon winds.

Our group seeks to uncover the richness of the cultures and literatures of the region, ranging from Kenya to South Africa and not forgetting Mauritius, the star and key to the Indian Ocean.

The logo of our group is the tanzanite gem.  These precious stones are found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.  The colour of the tanzanite runs from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue, surrounded by a delicate hint of purple.  The polychromaticity of the tanzanite depends on the angle from which you look at it, this being the perfect metaphor for the rich variety of Indian Ocean cultures that Ratnakara studies.

Ratnakara  is recognised by the Catalan Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR), reference:  2017 SGR 166

Conference

Aquatic Cartographies: Oceanic Imaginaries, Histories and Identities

Universitat de Lleida 21-22 July 2022

Research Projects

Research Projects

2019-… Our current project, entitled Rhizomatic Communities: Myths of Beloning in the Indian Ocean World, is financed by the Ministry of Science, innovation and Universities (PGC2018-095648-B-I00).  Leading on from our previous work, we study the life writing of three marginalized communities: the Chagossians  in Mauritius, AIDS sufferers in South Africa and survivors and descendants of survivors of the Partition in East Bengal. We seek to dismantle the myth of belonging which intrudes in identity constructions and, simultaneously, enhances the in-betweeness that defines a rhizomatic understanding of historical, socio-cultural and national affiliations in the Indian Ocean.