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New postdoc for Constructing the Ocean project

Mattias Gori Olesen has joined the Constructing the Ocean project as a postdoctoral researcher

The Constructing the Ocean project investigates how transregional relations play out in the everyday lives and social imaginaries of the Gujarati Muslim Dawoodi Bohra community engaging in infrastructural initiatives around the Indian Ocean. Olesen will be researching on Cairo as a pseudo-littoral location and important locus of the Dawoodi Bohra’s transregional communal imagination. Focusing on the various restoration project in Medieval Fatimid Cairo that the Bohras have been involved in since the 1970s, the sub-project examines how the Bohras assert a local and transregional communal identity through their involvement in, and perception of, past and present restoration projects in the city.

Olesen has a PhD and MA from Arab and Islamic Studies, Aarhus University and has worked extensively on the history of modern Egypt’s transregional ties to the larger Afro-Asian ‘East’, particularly India and Japan, in the early 20th century.