Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

3 - Sensory Geographies of Karbala

7/6/2018
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Amaltas, Lower Ground Floor

The martyrdom of Imam Husayn and his companions at Karbala in 680 CE represents a cataclysmic event in Islamic history that has been subsequently mourned and commemorated for over 1300 years. Karbala has figured in discourse and ritual, been interpreted and performed, in a plethora of ways over a wide geography stretching from the Balkans to Bengal and across Arab, Persianate, and Turkic worlds.


This panel focuses on the sensorium and materiality as they relate to the remembrance and mourning of Karbala. Taking sensory perception (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) as not only a physical but also a cultural act that differs across geographical and social contexts, the panel asks the question: How has Karbala been sensorially reimagined, embodied and materialised in a variety of spatio-historical environments across Asia? 

The panel will present a multi-disciplinary discussion on materiality and the senses based on ethnographic research on material culture (paintings, posters and film), space (mourning gatherings and shrines), new media (cassettes/CDs and digital audio/video) and sound (voice and recitation) in contemporary Islam. Through work in multiple locations, the panel traces the rich and diverse sensory geographies of mourning for Karbala.

Presentations:

Stefan Fa

UCL, United Kingdom

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Epsita Halder

Jadavpur University, India

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Stefan Fa

UCL, United Kingdom

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Stefan Fa

UCL, United Kingdom

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Yousef Saeed

Independent Scholar, India

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Timothy Cooper

University College London, United Kingdom

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