News Release

Hooper creating public database of slaving voyages across the Indian Ocean and Asia

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Jane Hooper, Associate Professor, History, received funding for the project: "Global Passages: Creating a Public Database of Slaving Voyages across the Indian Ocean and Asia."

Hooper, along with three other scholars, has received a three-year digital production grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a major expansion of the open access SlaveVoyages website, available online at The primary investigators will create an Indian Ocean and Asia (IOA) database of voyages that transported enslaved African, Malagasy, Middle Eastern, Indian, Southeast Asian, and East Asian men, women, and children within and beyond the Indian Ocean world between 1500 and 1940 as an integral part of the SlaveVoyages website. The database will incorporate the voyage datasets they have created over the last 15 years into this new open-source and fully searchable online database that will also include contributions from other internationally based scholars and researchers.  

This important new addition to the website will emphasize that the transoceanic commerce in slave labor was a truly global phenomenon that involved Arab/Swahili, Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian as well as European and American vessels. Research has demonstrated that the transoceanic slave trade in the Indian Ocean began centuries before it did in the Atlantic and continued into the mid-twentieth century, decades after the transatlantic trade’s demise in the mid-1860s. The investigators will also develop essays, lesson plans, and interactive maps to accompany the database.

The project will receive $400,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the project; out of this funding, Hooper will receive $65,544 from Rice University on a subaward to support research and production of the database. Funding began in March 2023 and will end in late Feb. 2026.


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at

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