Nikhita Sonia Richa Obeegadoo F'21

Nikhita Sonia Richa Obeegadoo
Doctoral Candidate
Romance Languages and Literatures
Harvard University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2021
Doctoral Candidate
Romance Languages and Literatures
Harvard University
The Silence of the Seabed: Reimagining Traumatic Water Crossings in the Indian Ocean and Caribbean

Eurocentric tales of marine adventure abound in popular culture, but the trauma of oceanic crossings for marginalized peoples—slaves, indentured laborers, clandestine migrants— is understudied, especially in lesser-known regions of the world, such as the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. Similarly overlooked are the effects of these journeys on the marine ecosystem itself. “The Silence of the Seabed” argues that writers today confront both the lasting legacies of these transitions in everyday life, and the lack of either written archive or burial site to depend upon: thus, they simultaneously grapple with the importance and impossibility of recreating stories of traumatic oceanic crossings from ecological and subaltern perspectives. “The Silence of the Seabed” explores this paradox through contemporary literature from the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, written in English, French, Spanish, Hindi and Mauritian Creole.