Within the academy, as transnational and oceanic forms of analysis become more prominent, the Indian Ocean attracts attention, especially as a domain that offers rich possibilities for working beyond the templates of the nation-state and area studies. The Indian Ocean makes visible a range of lateral networks that fall within the Third World or Global South. It is hence of particular relevance to those pursuing post–area studies scholarship and has much to say to the themes of this special issue on comparative literature across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Hofmeyr’s article seeks to demonstrate the ways in which the idea of the Indian Ocean might be deployed in pursuing such objectives. It surveys current trends within Indian Ocean scholarship and suggests how these might be used to illuminate questions of comparative literary history across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The article examines themes of print culture across these three regions as well as aspects of anglophone literatures between South Asia and Africa.

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