IOWC PhD Student: Omri Bassewitch Frenkel
Omri holds a B.A. in East-Asian Studies and History (2004) and an M.A. in History (2010), both from the Tel Aviv University. His Master’s thesis, "Conquistadores or Merchants? China’s role in the formation of the Spanish colonial society in the Philippine Islands, 1565-1603," which combined his interest in both European and Chinese history, focused on Spanish-Chinese relations in early colonial Manila and Spanish aspirations for the conquest and evangelization of China.
In his dissertation, Omri is focusing on attempts at crop transplantation in the Spanish Philippines between the mid-sixteenth and late-seventeenth centuries. He is planning to conduct archival work in both Spain and the Philippines.
His broader research interests include sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European trade and imperial adventures along the shores of the South China Sea, early modern European relations with overseas Chinese communities, and the Asian-European food and spice trade and its impact on food consumption in Europe.
Omri has received a number of scholarly awards including the Peter Cundill Fellowship in History at McGill University (2011), The Paedagogica Foundation Scholarship at the Tel Aviv University (2010), and a Spanish language studies scholarship at the University of Granada, Spain (2009). Omri is also a trained chef and a former proprietor of a bistro in his hometown, Tel Aviv.
Indian Ocean World Centre
3460 McTavish Street, Room 100
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E6
2012 "Social, Cultural and Material Aspects of the Chinese Silk Trade with Spanish Manila, 1571-1644." Paper presented at the IOWC's international conference on "Textile Trade and Consumption in the Indian Ocean World, from Early Times to the Present," IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2-4 November 2012.
2012 "Between Local and Global: A New Approach to Sixteenth-Century Spanish Plans for the Conquest of China." Paper presented at the MCRI international conference on "Crossroads between Empires and Peripheries – Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World," Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 21-23 June 2012.
2012 "Conquistadores or Merchants? Spanish Settlers of Manila and Their Aspirations Towards China, 1565-1586." Paper presented at the 2012 Biennial FEEGI conference, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 19-21 April 2012. Paper also presented at the Indian Ocean World Centre's seminar series, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 16 February 2012.