Ruined Histories: Archaeology, Islam and the Making of Gandhara Art in Divided South Asia
Talk by Vazira Zamindar, Brown University
Monday, May 19, 200812:00 PM - 2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
"This paper comes out of my new work on the history of colonial and postcolonial archaeology in the northwest frontier of the Indian subcontinent, which focuses in particular on a Gandharan Buddhist World Heritage site called Takht-e-Bahi, located in the Peshawar Valley in present day Pakistan. In trying to understand the ways in which archaeological practices in this frontier region transformed the relationship between Muslims of the region and its material landscape, I will probe some of the theoretical and methodological problems that this project raises for me, and open for discussion the categories of ‘Indian civilization’ and ‘nation’ for the writing of material histories on an insurgent and unruly frontier."
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar is a scholar of modern South Asian history, and her book entitled 'The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories' has just been published by Columbia University Press. At Brown she teaches courses on the history of colonialism and nationalism in South Asia, including the Partition of 1947 and Gandhi. She has broad theoretical interests in interdisciplinary history, the politics of violence and its effects on history writing. Before moving to Brown, she lived in the Netherlands, and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World in Leiden. She is presently working on an edited collection based on her postdoctoral research on the colonial history of archaeology, entitled 'Heritage in Other Histories: The Politics of Placing the Past in the Muslim World', which is forthcoming from Routledge, UK.