Council Member, Research Division, 2014–17


University of Michigan

Farina Mir is a historian of colonial and postcolonial South Asia, with a particular interest in the religious, cultural, and social history of late-colonial north India. Her current research is focused on Islam in late 19th- and early 20th-century India. She is working on a book entitled, “Genres of Muslim Modernity: Being Muslim in Late-Colonial India, 1858-1947,” which examines Urdu-language akhlaq—religious/literary texts on ethics—and how they reveal an important history of Islam and Muslims in South Asia. Grounded in a corpus of Urdu akhlaq texts published between the 1860s and 1940s, the book: casts light on a significant but understudied domain of Muslim ethical thought in colonial India; examines Muslim religious dispositions as revealed through this literature; and is an inquiry into the notion of secular Muslimness and its implications for understanding Muslim experience in modern South Asia. An essay related to this project was recently published in the American Historical Review.