Fernando ROSA


English, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Anthropology, History
South Africa
Fernando ROSA

Octobre 2015 à Mars 2016


Fernando ROSA is a Brazilian anthropologist and historian who has worked on and lived in various Indian Ocean societies, particularly South Africa (Cape Town), India (Kerala and Goa), Peninsular Malaysia, Macau (China), and Indonesia. He has also lived and worked in Atlantic societies such as Brazil and parts of the Caribbean (including Martinique, Suriname, Aruba, and Curaçao). He is now a research affiliate with the English department, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Moreover, he has lived and carried out research for five years in Malaysia (mostly in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka). His mains fields are African studies and Indian Ocean studies. His research interests lie in the domain of oceanic intellectual networks and related languages (and their archives), as well as in processes of creolisation and cosmopolitanism. In his latest book, The Portuguese in the Creole Indian Ocean. Essays in Historical Cosmopolitanism (Palgrave, 2015), he revisits the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Creole port city through literary works in French, Indonesian, and Portuguese; historical cosmopolitanism in Kerala (Malabar Coast) in India; the linguistic work of Sebastião Dalgado on Konkani, Sanskrit, and Sri Lankan Indo-Portuguese Creole in early twentieth century Goa; the ethnography and history of Creole and Portuguese identities and languages in both Macau (China) and Melaka (Malaysia); and finally the intricacies and mutual connections between various sixteenth and seventeenth century texts in Arabic, Malay, and Portuguese and their respective authors, compilers, etc, in Goa, the Malabar Coast, and the Straits of Melaka. He also scrutinises the interlinked Indian Ocean and Mediterranean networks described in these texts.

Furthermore, he has carried out fieldwork among Myanmar refugees (the Mizo in particular) in Bukit Bintang, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur of Indian Ocean origin. He has a related book project, tentatively titled Kuala Lumpur Myanmar Metropolis. Cosmopolitanism in an Indian Ocean Postcolony.

He has a blog: http://malakabrasil.blogspot.com

Search project

"Graves, Chronicles, and Outsiders: Cosmopolitanism and Creolization in the Indian Ocean and the Sahel and Sahara"

This project proposes to explore two complex, multilayered concepts, namely cosmopolitanism and creolization, within the context of certain historical texts in various parts of the Indian Ocean, on the one hand, and parts of the Sahel and the Sahara, on the other. It also aims to study aspects of the locales of their production and their communities from the perspective of both cosmopolitanism and creolization. This project is partly based on fieldwork carried out in the Indian Ocean littorals, particularly in Melaka and Kerala, partly on the study of various local texts, especially but not only in Arabic, Malay, and Portuguese. Moreover, it extends the scope of previous research to one further site of the Indian Ocean, namely, the Swahili coast, as well as to parts of the Sahel & Sahara, in particular Timbuktu, Gao, Agadez, and surrounding areas. In this phase of research, local histories and texts will be examined in relation to the Sahel and Sahara.


2015. The Portuguese in the Creole Indian Ocean. Essays in Historical Cosmopolitanism. Palgrave Indian Ocean World Series. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2012. « The Creole port city: Cosmopolitanism, intimate encounters and republican ideals in twentieth-century Saint-Louis-du-Sénégal », Journal of African Cultural Studies, 1-11.

2010. « Destined to Disappear Without a Trace: Gender and the Languages of Creolisation in the Indian Ocean, Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean » Indian Ocean Studies: Cultural, Social, and Political Perspectives. Shanti KM and Ashraf Jamal (eds.), Routledge: London, pp. 103-135.

2007. « Fornicatie and Hoerendom or the Long Shadow of the Portuguese: Connected Histories, Languages and Gender in the Indian Ocean and Beyond », Social Dynamics. A Journal of African Studies, 3, 2, pp. 33-60.

2004. « Bahasa Persatuan: Idioma e Nação na Indonésia Colonial (1915-1950) » [Bahasa Persatuan: Language and Nation in Colonial Indonesia], Afro-Ásia, Salvador, 32, pp. 29-82. Available online (www.afroasia.ufba.br)