Transcultural Islam- Talk by Jyotsna SIngh

The Programme in English and Creative Writing

Muslim and Christian Identities in Early Modern England and Mughal India

– A talk by
Jyotsna G Singh,
introduced by Jonathan Gil Harris,
followed by a discussion by  Abir Bazaz

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When English travelers went to India in the 16th and 17th centuries, how did they respond to the Mughal empires of the time?  How did their representations differ from the native accounts found in Mughal memoirs, paintings, and other sources?


Addressing such questions, this talk and conversation will focus on selected English and Mughal writings on Chishthi saints, Mughal harems, and gender arrangements of the Indian courts.  Thus, we will move beyond the ubiquitous literal Christian-Muslim cross-cultural encounter, focusing instead, through few selected case studies, on the shifting and diverse constructions of Islam — and of Muslim social and cultural milieus — within intercultural and intra-cultural contexts

Jyotsna G. Singh is a Professor of English at Michigan State University. Her published work includesThe Postcolonial World, Co-ed (2016); A Companion to the Global Renais- sance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion (2009 and 2013); Travel Knowledge: European ‘Discoveries’ in the Early Modern Period (co-editor Ivo Kamps, 2001); Colonial Narratives/Cultural Dialogues: ‘Discoveries’ of India in the Language of Colonialism (1996); and The Weyward Sisters: Shakespeare and Feminist Politics (co-authors Dympna Callaghan and Lorraine Helms, 1994). She has received several fellowships, among others, at the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island and Queen Mary, University of London, UK (Distinguished Visiting Faculty). She is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Transcultural Islam: Muslim and Christian Identities in the Early Modern World. She is also writing Shakespeare and the Postcolonial World (under contract with Bloomsbury Arden, 2017)

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