I teach a broad array of courses on modern world history, South Asian history, and the history of Islam in the modern world. In particular, I am interested in helping students see the world from a non-Eurocentric lens, while also challenging Euro-American epistemological frameworks. As with my research, most of my courses discuss the histories, legacies, and ongoing forms of colonialism, as well as alternative visions and possibilities for worldmaking and decolonization. For me, the classroom is a radical space of possibility; the possibilities lie in the personal and social transformations that develop in tandem with intellectual and academic endeavor.

History of the Modern World

This introductory course in modern world history is predicated on the fact that the past is always in conversation with the present. It will prompt students to think critically about enduring features of the modern world from a non-Eurocentric approach, and often, from the perspectives of those who are the most marginalized or erased by normative historical narratives. It will situate the birth of the modern world in relation to processes of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and settler colonization. In particular, we will be focusing on three main themes: relations between Islam and the West, colonialism, and decolonization—themes that I believe are crucial to our understanding of the world today. Special attention will be placed on the geopolitical histories of contemporary issues—what economic, social, and political factors have contributed to the world as we know it today? To this end, we will cover topics such as colonialism and the rise of Europe and the West. We will study the impact of colonialism through a comparative approach using literature, film, and primary sources. Finally, we will examine a number of decolonizing movements and their ongoing relevance against systems of economic and political exploitation.

Partition of the Indian Subcontinent

One of the most violent and disruptive events of the 20th century, the Partition of the Indian subcontinent into the nation-states of India and Pakistan in 1947 continues to play a staggering role in the (post) colonial histories of both countries and the region as a whole. This course will go into the high politics of the Partition, its human costs, and its continued impact on everyday life through oral history. The course will also examine the impact of Partition in literature and cinema.

Library Guide for Primary Source Papers on Partition of the Indian Subcontinent here.

Modern South Asia

This course provides an overview of the history of modern South Asia from the 18th century until the present. The course will explore the end of Mughal rule, British colonialism, the impact of colonialism, and diverse responses to colonial rule in the region. We will then cover the emergence of nationalism(s), the Partition of the subcontinent, and the contemporary political dynamics of India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Special attention will be given to issues of gender, religion, and caste. Readings will incorporate both scholarly articles, as well as sections from important memoirs, lectures, novels, short stories and other primary sources. This course has no prerequisites, and assumes no prior knowledge of the topic.

The Mughal Empire in South Asia

This course covers the history of the Indian subcontinent from the Delhi Sultanate until the rise of British colonialism, a period of over 700 years. It is a time period that is known for the emergence of Muslim rule in the subcontinent. Significant attention will focus on the Mughal Empire (1526-1858), which was at the time the largest of the Islamic empires in the world. The Mughals were at the crossroads of European colonialism, extensive trade networks, and exchanges across the Islamic world. Proceeding chronologically, we will cover some of the major political, social, religious and cultural developments. Students will be exposed to a set of primary sources written by a diverse array of people. Because the history of this period is deeply contested in the Indian subcontinent today, we will spend time discussing the implications of this history for the present, and how it challenges both colonialist and nationalist views of this period as one of stagnation and tyranny.

Global South Asia: Empire, Migration, Diaspora

This course examines how the region of South Asia has broadly interacted with, shaped, and been shaped by other parts of the modern world, and asks: How can we rethink and expand the history of regions in global history? It focuses on interregional and transnational connections through a focus on empire, oceans, race, slavery, labor flows, religious and intellectual exchange, migration, citizenship, decolonization and diaspora. This course explores the histories of South Asian diaspora communities in the Caribbean, East and South Africa, the Pacific, the United Kingdom and North America. Students will also research and write a primary-source based historical research paper.

Library Guide for Primary Source Papers on Global South Asia here.

Islam in the Modern World

How have developments in the modern world shaped the Islamic religious tradition and impacted Muslim societies? The topic of Islam in the Modern World has garnered much scrutiny and debate. This course sheds a historical light on Islam’s relationship to modernity. We will first critically interrogate the terms “Islam,” “tradition,” “modern,” and “the Muslim world.” Then, we will focus on a number of important issues including the role of colonialism in reshaping and restructuring Muslim societies, the responses of Muslim thinkers to the challenges of colonial modernity, and Muslim perspectives on nationalism and decolonization. We will discuss the rise of political Islam as an intellectual, social, and political phenomenon, using particular case studies from a number of regions. Through the work of Muslim thinkers and scholars of Islam, we will engage with contemporary debates on feminism, sexuality, democracy, the Islamic state, jihad, Muslims in the West, and empire and the War on Terror.