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Monday, February 15, 2016

South Asia Seminar Series Thursday, February 18

An Unscientific Writing of Islamic Modernism: Reading the Object in Ismat Chughtai
by Emily Durham

Date:  Thursday, February 18
Time:  4-5:30 PM
Place:  Social Sciences #609

Ismat Chughtai remains today as one of the most noted authors of Progressive Realism, in part because she was charged for obscenity for her short story, "The Quilt." She was also the product of a fairly radical--and at times quite unpopular--experiment in Muslim women's education, which included the pedagogical novels and pamphlets of Nazir Ahmed and Rashidul Khairi and, ultimately, the founding of the Aligarh School for Girls by the Islamic Modernist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. This talk looks at the way Chughtai's extension of that radical inclusion into the act of writing, taking as its object all aspects of the natural world, begins to dismantle many of the categories that a scientific rationalization might create, opening a rhetoric of the object that does not assume the hierarchical distance of the scientific observer, and thus creating the potential of a new world of engagement in its reception.

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