Department of Religious Studies

Decolonizing History: Time, Nostalgia, and the Muslim Past

Dr. Taymiya Zaman, Associate Professor, History, University of San Francisco

Tue, April 23, 2019 | Institute for Historical Studies, 4th Floor, Garrison Hall

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.

Discussant: Dr. Indrani Chatterjee, Professor, History, The University of Texas at Austin

Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP: To attend and receive the pre-circulated readings, please email Courtney Meador, by Apr 20.

Sponsored by: Department of Religious Studies with support from the Institute for Historical Studies

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