Annual Conference Talk: Anubhuti Maurya, The Mythical Medieval. Periodization, Historical Memory and the Imagination of the Indian Nation

From 7 to 9 December 2017, the Annual Conference 2017 “Chronologics: Periodisation in a Global Context” of the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung took place at the Maison de France, Berlin.

The conference was convened by Thomas Maissen (Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris), Barbara Mittler (Heidelberger Centrum für Transkulturelle Studien, Forum Transregionale Studien), and Pierre Monnet (Institut franco-allemand de sciences historiques et sociales). It brought together scholars from various disciplines and countries with the purpose to uncover some of the dynamics behind particular cultural and historical uses of periodisation schemes, as concepts for ordering the past, and thus to reconsider these terminologies.

In her talk titled “The Mythical Medieval. Periodization, Historical Memory and the Imagination of the Indian Nation”, Anubhuti Maurya discussed how in the post-1947 India, the medieval as the Muslim past became a part of the project of nation building and was recast as a period of harmonious coexistence of different communities. In contemporary India, the ‘Hindutva’ majoritarian right wing has drawn upon the older traditions of history writing to constitute the Muslim as the political other and the medieval as the period of oppressive Muslim rule. In her presentation she examined the intersection between the academic discussions on periodization and the different nationalist imaginations of post-1947 India.

Anubhuti Maurya is Assistant Professor in History at Bharati College, Delhi University. She holds a Ph.D. from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Anubhuti works on Kashmir in the sixteenthand seventeenth centuries, in the period of Mughal rule. In particular, she engages with the narrative and spatial practices of the Mughal empire in the exercise of Imperial authority over Kashmir. She is currently visiting scholar at the History Department, Columbia University, New York and is working towards completing her book, ‘The Making of Mughal Kashmir: Space, History and Authority in Early Modern South Asia’.

The Annual Conference 2017 on “Chronologics” was part of the strategic cooperation between the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung. It was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and arranged in a cooperation with the Einstein Center Chronoi, the Institut français Berlin and the Graduate School Global Intellectual History at Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

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