South Asia

Organized Panel Session

119 - Sharif Intermediaries and Muslim Intellectual History in South Asia

7/7/2018
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Silveroak I, Ground Floor

Modernity and its interaction with diverse cultures continue to be a subject of intense intellectual debates and critical focus. Its Western moorings often suffer conceptual stress while negotiating the inconsistencies posed by visceral realities like that of religious identity in other parts of the world. Hence, we increasingly come across qualified terms like ‘alternative modernities’ and ‘multiple modernities’ promising an encompassing view on the derivative and incomplete nature of modernity when it seeks to define worldviews at odds with the uniformity that it espouses. This panel intervenes in these debates about the coherence of modernity singular/plural as an interpretive framework for analyzing questions of faith and choice in the Indian subcontinent. It traces a critical genealogy of the complex literary and political acts of self-fashioning undertaken by influential Muslim writers in different times as they engage with and re-define processes of global modernity. By navigating Musta’idd Khan’s chronicle, Sayyid Ahmed Khan’s essays and Muhammaed Iqbal’s letters, this panel complicates a straightforward binary between individual choice and communally oriented faith by showing how individual self-expression and allegiance to communal tradition can work as symbiotic rather than oppositional categories. In doing so, it further complicates the role of Sharif intellectuals as harbingers and interpreters of cosmopolitan thought. By uncovering connections between religious, cultural and political practices, each paper challenges not only the exclusionary conceptualizations of the aesthetics of modernity but also explores possibilities for forging revisionary spaces in imagining Muslim identity beyond the Shurafa in South Asia.

Presentations:

Nida Sajid

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Irfanullah Farooqi

Aligarh Muslim University, India

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Salman Abbas

Aligarh Muslim University, India

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Tilmann Kulke

Ilia State University, Georgia

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Danish Iqbal

Aligarh Muslim University, India

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Irfanullah Farooqi

Aligarh Muslim University, India

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Salman Abbas

Aligarh Muslim University, India

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Nida Sajid

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

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