Gwyn Campbell

Gwyn Campbell
Contact Information

Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC)
Peterson Hall
3460 McTavish Street, Room 100
Montréal, Quebec, H3A 1X9

514-398-4400 ext.00269
Email address: 
Gwyn.Campbell [at]
Professor, Canada Research Chair in Indian Ocean World History, and Director of the Indian Ocean World Centre
Room 100, 3460 McTavish

PhD (Wales)


Economic and Environmental History of the Indian Ocean World, 2000 BCE – Today; Economic and Environmental History of Africa, 2000 BCE – Today; Slavery and the Slave Trade; History of Madagascar; European Expansion Overseas, 1500-1945; The Evangelical Revival and the Missionary Movement 1730-1914

Specialization by time period: 
2000 BCE - 600 CE
600 - 1450
1450 - 1800
1800 - 1900
1900 - Today
Specialization by geographical area: 
Office hours: 

By appointment


Gwyn Campbell is a Canada Research Chair In Indian Ocean World History. Born in Madagascar, he grew up in Wales where he worked as a BBC radio producer in English and Welsh. He holds degrees in economic history from the universities of Birmingham and Wales and has previously taught in India (Voluntary Service Overseas) and at universities in Madagascar, Britain, South Africa, Belgium and France. He also served as an academic consultant for the South African Government in the first phase of inter-governmental meetings leading to the 1997 formation of an Indian Ocean regional association.

Director of McGill’s Indian Ocean World Centre, Gwyn Campbell is a specialist in the economic history of the Indian Ocean region. A former collaborator on the sub-Saharan Africa team of the National Geographic and IBM's Genographic Project (2005-2010) that did research into early human origins and migrations, he is currently undertaking research into slavery, migration and diasporas in the Indian Ocean world, as well as investigating the foundations of the Indian Ocean world "global" economy. He also has a strong interest in the dynamics of minority cultures, imperialism, globalisation and third world development.

He is currently completing a manuscript on Africa and the Indian Ocean world from early times to 1900, which will appear in the Cambridge University Press New Perspective on African History series, and has recently published a book, David Griffiths and the Missionary "History of Madagascar," as part of Brill's Studies in Christian Mission series. Among his other interests are painting, poetry and prose.

Graduate supervision: 

Themes in the history of the Indian Ocean World (IOW) from Africa to South and Southeast Asia to China. Themes include: Slavery and the Slave Trade; Migration and Diasporas; the Rise and Development of an IOW Global Economy; trans-IOW commerce; other themes in Economic History; Africa and the IOW; Imperialism; Colonialism and Revolt; Missionaries and Religions; the Islands (Madagascar etc).

Publication files: 
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