SDMA Exhibition

Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition

Professor Carlo Coppola, Professor Emeritus, Oakland University

Carlo Coppola is Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages, Literature, and Linguistics, Oakland University. In 1963 he co-founded Mahfil, A Quarterly of South Asian Literature, later re-titled Journal of South Asian Literature, which ceased publication in 2002.  In retirement he is currently revising several volumes for publication: The Proletarian Episode: Urdu Poetry 1935-1970, Not to Darkness: The Life and Times of Ahmed Ali, and the third edition of Marxist Influences and South Asian Literature.

Ms. Chanchal Dadlani, Harvard University

Chanchal Dadlani is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Ms. Dadlani is currently completing her dissertation on architectural culture in 18th-century Mughal India. The dissertation considers changes in architectural style and the subsequent emergence of the architectural study as a genre of representation in late Mughal and early European colonial works. Her broad research interests include art and cultural exchange, expressions of piety through shrine patronage, conceptions of public space, architectural experimentation, and the role of architecture in historical discourse.

Ms. Jennifer Dubrow, University of Chicago

Jennifer Dubrow is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.  Her dissertation is a literary and historical analysis of one of the first Urdu novels, Fasana-e Azad, and its reception in late nineteenth-century Lucknow.

Professor Richard Eaton, University of Arizona, Tucson

Professor Eaton holds an MA and PhD in History from the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, respectively. At Wisconsin-Madison he wrote a dissertation on the Sufis of Bijapur, directed by John Richards. Subsequently, he worked on the Sufis of the medieval Punjab and wrote a monograph on the growth of Islamic society in medieval Bengal. More recently (2007), Dr. Eaton co-edited a volume with Professor Indrani Chatterjee (Rutgers University) on slavery in South Asian History and published a social history of the precolonial Deccan, featuring the biographies of eight individuals. He is currently engaged in a study co-authored with Professor Phillip Wagoner (Wesleyan University), titled Power, Memory, and Architecture: Contested Sites in the 16th-century Deccan.

Dr. Mehr Farooqi, University of Virginia

Mehr Afshan Farooqi is Assistant Professor in the University of Virgnia's Department of Middle East and South Asian Languages and Cultures. Her research interests are in the area of language and its literary use. Her most recent publication is the two volume Oxford India Anthology of Modern Urdu Literature (January 2008). She is presently working on a monograph on the Urdu literary-cultural critic Muhammad Hasan Askari.

Dr. Nile Green, University of California, Los Angeles

Nile Green is an Associate Professor in the History Department at UCLA. He was previously Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Manchester and Milburn Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. His research focuses on the history of Islam in South Asia, particularly on the social and political history of Indian Sufism. However, he has also written on Indo-Islamic reform, the circulation of sacred objects, Muslim travel writing, the ethnogenesis of the Afghans, the history of dreaming and early Islamic printing. His publications include Indian Sufism since the Seventeenth Century: Saints, Books and Empires in the Muslim Deccan (London & New York: Routledge, 2006), a co-edited volume (with Mary Searle-Chatterjee) titled Religion, Language and Power (New York: Routledge, 2008) and Islam and the Army in Colonial India: Sepoy Religion & the Service of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). He is currently completing a book on enchanting modernity in the Indian Ocean.

Dr. Talinn Grigor, Getty Research Institute & Brandeis University

Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Brandeis University and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute 2008-09. Dr. Grigor's interests include modern non-western architecture, Islamic art and architecture, and (post)colonial and critical theory. She is currently completing two books, Of Mimetic Authenticity: the 'Orient or Rome' Debate beyond (post)Colonial Ambivalence and The Civil(ized) Nation: Cultural Heritage and Modernity in 20th-century Iran (Periscope Publishing).

Dr. Syed Akbar Hyder, University of Texas-Austin

Dr. Hyder is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also Chair of the Islamic Studies Program there. His most recent significant publication is Reliving Karbala: Martyrdom in South Asian Memory, published by Oxford University Press in 2006.

Ms. Mana Kia, Harvard University

Mana Kia is a doctoral candidate in the joint program in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Her dissertation focuses on the historical construction and negotiation of cultural difference in the Indian Ocean in the 18th and 19th centuries by examining the circulation of Persian migrants and travelers between Iran, Iraq, India and Burma. Her interests include feminist historiography, British Imperial history, the Indian Ocean and early modern and modern Iranian history.

Professor Karen Leonard, University of California, Irvine

Professor of Anthropology at UC Irvine, Leonard's work has focused on the history of Hyderabad State in the Deccan and the Hyderabadi diaspora in seven sites abroad. She has also published on the history and current situations of Punjabi Mexican Americans, South Asian Americans, and Muslim Americans.

Dr. Scott Levi, Ohio State University

Assistant Professor of Central Asian History, Ohio State University (beginning in September, 2008).  Dr. Levi's work focuses on the social and economic history of early modern Central Asia in the broader context of the eastern Islamic world.  He is the author of The Indian Diaspora in Central Asia and its Trade, 1550-1900 (Leiden, 2002) and the editor of India and Central Asia: Commerce and Culture, 1500-1800 (Delhi, 2007).

Professor C. M. Naim, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago

C. M. Naim, studied at the University of Lucknow (Urdu Literature) and the University of California, Berkeley (Linguistics). He joined the University of Chicago in 1961, and took early retirement in 2001. He co-founded and co-edited (with Carlo Coppola) the Journal of South Asian Literature from 1963 to 1978, then founded and edited the Annual of Urdu Studies from 1981 to 1991. His most recent book was Urdu Texts & Contexts, a collection of selected essays on Urdu literary issues. Many of his writings are available on the internet:

Ms. Keelan Overton, University of California, Los Angeles

Keelan H. Overton is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation considers painting produced at the Adil Shahi court of Bijapur.

Dr. Laura Parodi, University of Oxford

Laura E. Parodi is Departmental Lecturer in Islamic Art and Archaeology (from 1 October 2008: Research Officer) at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Her main research interests lie in court life and the arts in the Timurid aftermath. She is currently writing a book on early Mughal painting, and recently organised (with James W. Allan) an international conference titled Arts, Patronage and Society in the Muslim Deccan (University of Oxford, July 2008).

Dr. Alka Patel, University of California, Irvine

Assistant Professor, Department of Art History and Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine. Dr. Patel's interests include the art and architectural history of South Asia during the 11th through 16th centuries. Currently, she is collaborating on a project with Dr. Karen Leonard on the banking and mercantile families of India, settled in the diaspora of Hyderabad. For more information, see

Dr. Heidi Pauwels, University of Washington

Heidi Pauwels is Associate Professor in Hindi and Indian Literature at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research on 16th-cenutry Krishna bhakti was published as Krishna's Round Dance Reconsidered (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1996) and In Praise of Holy Men (Groningen: Egbert Forsten Press, 2002). Current interests include contemporary film and television retellings of mythology. Her book The Goddess as Role Model: Sita and Radha in Scripture and on the Screen is to come out from OUP New York in 2008. The next project will be on the eighteenth century.

Dr. Teena Purohit

Teena Purohit completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Religion at Columbia University in 2007. She currently teaches in the Religious Studies Program at UCI. Her research focuses on the history of Islam in South Asia, bhakti poetry of the medieval and early modern periods, and the formation of religious identities in the colonial period. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled Constituting Muslim Identity: Ismaili Sectarianism in Colonial India.

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla, Curator, San Diego Museum of Art

Dr. Quintanilla has curated numerous exhibitions drawn from SDMA's Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of South Asian Paintings and most recently in collaboration with the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi she produced the major exhibition and accompanying catalogue, Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose (1882-1966). Her publications also include History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura, Ca. 150 BCE - 100CE.

Professor Nasrin Rahimieh, University of California, Irvine

Nasrin Rahimieh is Maseeh Chair and Director of the Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.  She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from University of Alberta in 1988. She served as Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta (1999-2002) and Dean of Humanities at McMaster University (2003-2006). Her teaching and research are focused on modern Persian literature and the literature of Iranian diaspora.  Among her publications are Oriental Responses to the West (Brill 1990) and Missing Persians: Discovering Voices in Iranian Cultural History (Syracuse 2001).

Dr. Alison Mackenzie Shah, University of Colorado, Denver
Alison Shah is Assistant Professor of History at University of Colorado, Denver and a faculty member at the Center of Preservation Research at University of Colorado's College of Architecture and Planning. She received her PhD from University of Pennsylvania in 2005 where she trained in South Asian history and Islamic architectural history. Her research is focused on the way groups in the city of Hyderabad, India have strategically deployed Islamic cultural heritage to ground new social movements. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled, "Islam and the Politics of Heritage in Urban India, 1800-2000."

Dr. Sunil Sharma, Boston University

Dr. Sunil Sharma is Aga Khan Fellow in the History of Art and Architecture Department, Harvard University, during 2008-09. He is on leave from Boston University where he is Senior Lecturer in Persian. He is the author of two books, an edited volume, various papers and translations.

Dr. Yuthika Sharma, Columbia University

Yuthika Sharma is a Doctoral Candidate and Faculty Fellow in South Asian Art and Architecture at the Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, New York. Her dissertation focuses on the artistic and architectural culture of late 18th-early 19th century Delhi. She holds a doctorate in landscape history from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Her most recent essay “A House of Wonder: Silver at the Delhi Exhibition of 1903” (in Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008) looks at the display, production, and consumption of decorative silverware in colonial India.

Ms. Sarah F. Waheed, Tufts University

Sarah Waheed is a candidate in History at Tufts University. Her doctoral work focuses on the development of modern Muslim intellectual identity in twentieth-century colonial and post-colonial South Asia. She examines how debates of the Urdu intelligentsia about ethical conduct, moral self-hood, and civil society were shaped both by older cosmopolitan social and political networks in colonial North India, as well as anti-colonial internationalist forces, such as communism. In effect, her work examines issues of morality as intrinsically related to conceptions of Muslim identity, and how this intersected with nationalist public and political cultures in India and Pakistan.

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