Global Mauritius: A Transcultural hub between Africa and Asia?

Global Mauritius: A Transcultural hub between Africa and Asia?

Prof. Vinesh Y. Hookoomsing

What makes Mauritius a global island? The core of the answer lies in the genesis of how this desert island was brought into the world by Western colonization as the latter spread to the Indian Ocean and its bordering continents. Today’s post(-)colonial and polycentric world is witnessing an economic and power shift to Asia, with Africa asserting itself as a resourceful continent with growing expectations. It is also witnessing the rise of a growing middle class whose global impact on social and political development is already being felt. These and related global trends of human, natural and technological resource development hold the key to the future of the world and of the Indian Ocean people. Many of these trends are part of the intertwined root ingredients that have shaped the success story of modern Mauritius.

Regionally, Mauritius has successfully positioned itself as a business and financial hub. Now it aims to assert itself as a knowledge and transcultural hub. Can it pool together its creative resources, enhanced with mainland input, and offer a branded package of Asian language? To address this challenge, I will explore the following interrelated issues:

·         Migration and the dynamics of adaptation and change with reference to Asian settlement

·         The cultural, social and institutional capital accumulated within the Asian-Mauritian population

·         Socioeconomic change and elite formation

·         Regionalization and mainland interconnections 

 

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Vinesh Y. Hookoomsing holds a PhD in Linguistics from Laval University, Québec, Canada. His areas of research and publication cover language and culture in Creole and plural diaspora societies. During his career as Professor of Linguistics at the University of Mauritius, he was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (1995-1998) and Pro Vice-Chancellor responsible for research (2001-2006). He was founding President of the Mauritian Cultural Centre (2001-2005), a government of Mauritius initiative. He currently chairs the International Association for Francophone and Comparative Studies on the Indian Ocean. He has participated in a number of juries, nationally and internationally, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa and the International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) Book Prize. He was Visiting Professor at VU University, Amsterdam in 2008. He is currently Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh. 

 

Time and Place:

Date:   Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015
Venue:   CSSSII, JNU
Address:   CSSSII, JNU
City/Twon:   New Delhi
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