Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Workshop: "Decolonizing History: Time, Nostalgia, and the Muslim Past," by Taymiya Zaman, University of San Francisco (sponsored by Religious Studies)

Tue, April 23, 2019 | GAR 4.100

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

This workshop will explore how the study of pre-colonial Muslim pasts can contribute to a larger conversation about decolonizing history that has been initiated by the American Historical Review.  In an article that inaugurated the AHR’s new “History Unclassified” section for its June 2018 issue, I write about a visit to a Mughal mosque in Thatta, Pakistan in two different voices; one insists upon reading the mosque as a relic from the past, while the other—inspired by Borges’ essay, “Borges and I”—breaks with linear time and unsettles the identity of the historian who seeks to narrate and by extension, control what she sees as past. In this, my approach relies on challenging our epistemologies to include forms of historical consciousness often rendered marginal within the discipline. Drawing on my earlier work on nostalgia for lost Muslim pasts, I argue that Mughal spaces are not ruins; instead they are living sites in which what both the nation and the discipline of history relegate to the past is still alive, vibrant, and willing to speak to us if we attune ourselves to its cadences.

Dr. Taymiya R. Zaman is Associate Professor of History at the University of San Francisco. She received her B.A. in Philosophy at Smith College and her Ph.D. in History (2007) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She joined the University of San Francisco in 2007. Her area of research expertise is Mughal India and her current research interests include historical memory in South Asia, the interconnectedness of life writing and history, and the transition from subjects to citizens in the Islamicate world. She has designed the History Department's "Islamic World" emphasis and teaches courses on the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires and the making of modern South Asia and the Middle East. She also writes narrative non-fiction and fiction.

Dr. Indrani Chatterjee
Professor of History
University of Texas at Austin

Light refreshments will be served. To attend and receive the pre-circulated readings, please email, by Monday, April 22.

Free and open to the public. Organized by the Department of Religious Studies with support from the Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History.

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