Sujit Sivasundaram on Islands in Global History

For examples of Sri Lankan palm leaf manuscripts, a type of source material discussed in the interview, click on the images below to open the gallery and view them full-size.

Welcome to the fourth episode of the Global History Podcast. In this segment, we hear from Sujit Sivasundaram, Professor of World History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow and College Lecturer in History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

Professor Sivasundaram has published widely on the histories of the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the 18th and 19th centuries. His previous works include Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850 and Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony. He’ll also have a new book out this summer, titled Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire

Last spring, when Chase visited Cambridge, he and Professor Sivasundaram had a discussion about the importance of islands in global history, with a particular focus on Sri Lanka, and on this segment, we’ll be sharing that conversation with you.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments about this episode, or would like to pitch us an idea for a new episode, feel free to email us at, or send us a message on our website’s contact formfacebooktwitter, or instagram.

COVER IMAGE CREDIT: Carte plate qui comprend l’Isle de Ceylan, et une partie des Côtes de Malabar et de Cormandel, engraved by De La Haye for Jean-Baptiste d’Après de Mannevillette’s Neptune Oriental (Paris; Brest, 1775). 27 in (68.5 cm) x 20 in (50.8 cm). Downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.

IMAGE GALLERY CREDITS: All palm leaf manuscript images were downloaded from the Royal Danish Library.

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