Interpreting the Sindhi World: Essays on Society and History

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Michel Boivin, Matthew A. Cook
Oxford University Press, 2010 - History - 226 pages
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For more than thirty years, there has not been a project that consolidates international university-level scholarship on Sindh and Sindhis into a single forum. Interpreting the Sindhi World seeks to unite the wide community of scholars who work on Sindh and with Sindhis. The book's interdisciplinary focus is on history and society, and represents a 'snap shot' of contemporary research from different disciplines and locations. It combines interdisciplinary and multi-local approaches to describe the diversity of Sindh's 'voices' and to raise questions about how they are historically and socio-culturally defined.

Conventional studies of Sindh and Sindhis often bend the region and its people upon themselves to analyze society and history. This collection of essays treats Sindh and its people not as isolated regional entities, but rather entries in a wider socio-cultural and historical web. Sindhis are a global community and this collection generates new perspectives on them by integrating detailed studies on Pakistan with those from India and the diaspora. Such an approach contrasts with other writings by celebrating rather than erasing multi-cultural faces from Sindh's human tapestry. By rethreading unheard socio-cultural and historical voices into understanding Sindh and its people, this collection disputes the vision of Sindhis as a monolithic Muslim population in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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About the author (2010)


Michel Boivin is a historian. He is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Indian and South Asian Studies (CEIAS), National Centre for Scientific Research, affiliated with the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) as a member of the CEIAS, and is also a Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). A specialist of the Muslims of South Asia, his research is focused on the interaction between society and religion during the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special interest in the Sindhi region, a geographical area straddling Pakistan and India. He is currently heading a CEIAS research team on History and Sufism in the Indus Valley and an interdisciplinary project on the Sufi center of Sehwan Sharif (South Pakistan).
Matthew A. Cook is Assistant Professor of Postcolonial and South Asian Studies at North Carolina Central University, and is also affiliated with the North Carolina Center for South Asia Studies at Duke University. His past teaching appointments include: North Carolina State University, New York University, Columbia University, Hofstra University, and Duke University. His research focus is on colonialism in South Asia and the methodological conjunction of anthropology and history. He has authored book chapters, journal articles and reviews published by Eastern Anthropologist, Sagar, Columbia Journal of Historiography, Columbia Historical Review, Educational Practice and Theory, Curriculum and Teaching, South Asian Review and Pacific Affairs, Itinerario, and others.

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