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Signed, Sealed, Undelivered: The Santa Catharina's Paper Cargo and Remapping Commercial Networks Across the Global Indian Ocean, c. 1738-1752

Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017. 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Worlds of Work and the Work of Networks
Meeting Description: 

The talk focuses on the discovery of several thousand pieces of commercial correspondence and contracts traveling aboard the Armenian-freighted vessel, the Santa Catharina, across the Indian Ocean at the time of the vessel's capture in 1748. These papers discovered by the author in the High Court of Admiralty (HCA) in the National Archives in Kew offer an extraordinary glimpse into the complex operation of a global network of trade connecting far-flung places such as Tocat and Isfahan in the Ottoman and Safavid Empires to Calcutta, Madras, Guangzhou and Manila in the East. The presentation assesses the importance of the Santa Catharina's paper cargo in reconstructing commercial and social life across the Indian Ocean.

Dr. Sebouh Aslanian is an associate professor and the Richard Hovannisian Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA.

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