ABSTRACT. The area-studies model of global scholarship, based on dividing the world into a set number of large, quasi-continental regions, is under assault from a variety of intellectual and institutional forces. New, less rigid models of global scholarship are increasingly being called for by both scholars and funding agencies. One useful alternative, currently being explored at Duke University, reframes area studies around ocean and sea basins. Putting maritime interactions at the center of vision brings to light a set of historical regions that have largely remained invisible on the conventional map of the world.