March 14, 2022
Censorship, Urdu literature, Islam, and progressive secular nationalisms in colonial India and Pakistan have a complex, intertwined history. Dr. Waheed offers a timely examination of the role of progressive Muslim intellectuals in the Pakistan movement. She delves into how these left-leaning intellectuals drew from long-standing literary traditions of Islam in a period of great duress and upheaval, complicating our understanding of the relationship between religion and secularism. Rather than seeing 'religion' and 'the secular' as distinct and oppositional phenomena, this book demonstrates how these concepts themselves were historically produced in South Asia and were deeply interconnected in the cultural politics of the left. Through a detailed analysis of trials for blasphemy, obscenity, and sedition, and feminist writers, Dr. Waheed argues that Muslim intellectuals engaged with socialism and communism through their distinctive ethical and cultural past. In so doing, she provides a fresh perspective on the creation of Pakistan and South Asian modernity.
Hosted in collaboration with the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative (SWGI), the session will be moderated by Dr. Ali Raza.
Join us for this interesting conversation!
About the Panelists
Dr. Sarah Waheed
Dr. Waheed has previously taught numerous courses in history and gender studies and served as Director of the Semester in India Program at Davidson College. She holds a PhD in South Asian History from Tufts University, and an MA from University of Chicago. Her first book, Hidden Histories of Pakistan: Censorship, Literature, and Secular Nationalism in Late Colonial India has been published with Cambridge University Press this January 2022. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar carrying out research towards her second book about women of the Deccan region, The Warrior Queen Who Died Thrice: Gender, Sovereignty and Islam in Pre-modern India.
Dr. Ali Raza
Dr. Raza is a historian of modern South Asia and an Associate Professor of History at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is the author of Revolutionary Pasts: Communist Internationalism in Colonial India (2020).