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Sensory Life in South India: Counter-Narratives of Islamic Material Culture

Harini Kumar, Postdoctoral Research Associate, M. S. Chadha Center for Global India

September 26, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · A71 Louis A. Simpson Building

M. S. Chadha Center for Global India

The Islamic built environment in India is under tremendous strain today. Mosques, especially, are disparaged as “ocular reminders” of India’s Muslim past. In this context, how can we understand the range of significations that such sites have for ordinary Muslims? This talk focuses on mosques on the southeastern coast of India, built in a distinctive style that is rooted in local architectural idioms. Such mosques are an integral part of the Tamil sacred landscape, indexing the region’s longstanding Muslim presence as well as histories of maritime trade and mobility. The presentation explores how the architecture and materiality of the built environment mediate people’s connection to the past, and how such sites are reimagined as spaces of heritage, historical consciousness, and cultural value.

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This event is co-sponsored by the Program in South Asian Studies and the Department of Anthropology.

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