Conquest and Community: Historical Writing in Troubled Times


The fourth biennial conference on South Asian religions

(CSAR) is proud to announce a special roundtable discussion titled “Conquest and Community: Historical Writing in Troubled Times." Drawing from their collective experience in the field, historians Shahid Amin is A.M. Khwaja Chair at Jamia Millia University, New Delhi and Visiting Professor of History, Columbia University , Natalie Zemon Davis (Emerita, Princeton University; University of Toronto), and Rosalind O’Hanlon (University of Oxford) will reflect on the stakes of writing histories of contested events, figures, and narratives that exert enormous political capital in the present, taking as their starting point Dr. Amin’s latest book, 'Conquest and Community, the Afterlife of Warrior Saint Ghazi Miyan.' While historical writing is arguably always saturated with the politics of the present, histories of contested figures and events are often explicitly so. What is the role of the historian in moments of ascendant majoritarianism in South Asia and elsewhere? How can historical writing respond to popular impulses to avenge supposed 'historical wrongs'? And how do historians navigate the often tactile consequences of writing against the contemporary popular? Join us for a rich and lively discussion with three prominent historians as they reflect on their research in light of these enduring dilemmas and questions.

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