Philip Gooding

Philip Gooding

Philip is a postdoctoral fellow at the Indian Ocean World Centre and a Course Lecturer in the History and Classical Studies department at McGill University. He is primarily interested in the connections between the East African Great Lakes and the wider Indian Ocean World during the nineteenth century. He examined these connections firstly through his monograph project, On the frontiers of the Indian Ocean World: A history of Lake Tanganyika, c.1830-1890, which conceptualises cultural interactions between peoples from the Indian Ocean littoral and the East African Great Lakes on the shores of one of the region’s most prominent but understudied lakes. He is furthermore beginning a project on the environmental history of East Africa in c.1780-1900, which incorporates new climatological data related to the Indian Ocean monsoon system and stresses the importance of human-environment interaction as a catalyst for historical change. Philip’s research expands conceptions of the Indian Ocean World to include terrestrial regions of East Africa, thereby also signifying the global significance of East African history.

More details about Philip’s bio and research interests can be found at: 


PhD History: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS), 2017.
MA Historical Research Methods, SOAS, 2012.
BA History, SOAS, 2011.

Select Publications

2022: On the Frontiers of the Indian Ocean World: A History of Lake Tanganyika, c.1830-1890. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2022: Droughts, Floods, and Global Climatic Anomalies in the Indian Ocean World [edited volume]. Cham, CH: Palgrave-Macmillan.

2021: ‘Reality and Representation of Eastern Africa’s Past: Archaeology and History Redress the “Coast-Inland Dichotomy.” Co-authored with Jonathan Walz. African Studies Quarterly, 20, 4.

2021: ‘David Livingstone, UNESCO, and Nation-Building in 19th-21st-Century Scotland and East and Central Africa.’ Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies, 5, 2.

2020: Animal Trade Histories in the Indian Ocean World [edited volume]. Co-edited with Martha Chaiklin and Gwyn Campbell. Cham, CH: Palgrave.

2019: ‘Islam in the Interior of Precolonial East Africa: Evidence from Lake Tanganyika.’ The Journal of African History, 60, 2.

2019: ‘Tsetse Flies, ENSO, and Murder: The Church Missionary Society’s failed East African Ox-Cart Experiment of 1876-78.’ Africa: Rivista semestrale di studi e ricerche, 1, 2.       

2019:  ‘History, Politics, and Culture in Central Tanzania,’ Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of African History.

2019: ‘Slavery, ‘Respectability,’ and being ‘Freeborn’ on the Shores of Nineteenth-Century Lake Tanganyika.’ Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, 40, 1 (online publication: 2017).