Tawfiq Alhamedi

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Irvine, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10090

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Alhamedi, Tawfiq (California, Irvine, U. of) "Oceanic Memories: Nationhood, Belonging, and Geopolitics in the Zanzibar Archipelago"

TAWFIQ ALHAMEDI, then a graduate student at University of California, Irvine, California, was awarded funding in April 2021 to aid research on “Oceanic Memories: Nationhood, Belonging, and Geopolitics in the Zanzibar Archipelago,” supervised by Dr. Anneeth Kaur Hundle. Over the 12-month period of the Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, the grantee conducted field research in the Stone Town section of Zanzibar City in the island of Unguja (Zanzibar, Tanzania). Throughout this time, the grantee partook in array of research activities which consisted of: 1) participant-observation; 2) semi-structured interviews; 3) analysis of online media; and 4) archival research. Forty-nine formal and informal interviews with various different interlocutors were conducted in relation to the project’s themes of memory, citizenship, Islam, and geopolitics. This included interviews with community elders, young adults, activists, heritage workers, neighborhood and academic historians, novelists, media workers, and religious leaders and scholars. Findings from these various research activities have resulted in a deeper investigation and analysis of Swahili-Islamic ideas of ‘inheritance’ (urithi) for thinking through and theorizing the interplay of memory, historical consciousness, and political anthropological concepts in Zanzibar and the wider Swahili coast.