The Komagata Maru and Jurisdiction in the Time of Empire with Professor Renisa Mawani

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Hi, I’m Sukhraj Singh from SikhArchive and welcome to the 36th episode of our Podcast series of conversations with historians, authors, academics, researchers, and activists on topics related to their areas of expertise on Sikh or Panjabi history.

In this episode we are joined by Professor Renisa Mawani, who is a Professor of Sociology and Founding Chair of the Law and Society Minor Program at the University of British Columbia. She works on the conjoined histories of Indigeneity, Asian migration, and settler colonialism and is the author of Across Oceans of Law: The Komagata Maru and Jurisdiction in the Time of Empire.

We discuss today the book, which is a transnational history of the Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamship which carried 376 Punjabi migrants from Hong Kong to Canada and to India in 1914. It focuses on the interaction between human and nonhuman, problemtatizing the middle passage by focusing on the materiality of the ship, the vitality of water, and the forces of nature.

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