Dr Nancy Um will give a talk in which she will reflect on the Yemeni port city of Mocha and its history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, drawing on the research that she conducted for her book, The Merchant Houses of Mocha: Trade and Architecture in an Indian Ocean Port (University of Washington Press, 2009). She will also share new findings and interpretations that have emerged since its publication.
Nancy Um is currently Associate Director for Research and Knowledge Creation at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. From 2001 to 2022, she was a faculty member in the Department of Art History at Binghamton University. Her research explores the Islamic world from the perspective of the coast, with a focus on material, visual and built culture on the Arabian Peninsula and around the rims of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. She is the author of The Merchant Houses of Mocha: Trade and Architecture in an Indian Ocean Port (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009) and Shipped but not Sold: Material Culture and the Social Protocols of Trade during Yemen’s Age of Coffee (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2017), in addition to studies about trade, art, diplomacy, and gift exchange around the early modern Indian Ocean rim.