assistant professor of history

Ph.D., women’s studies and history, University of Michigan

What I’m studying:

“I wrote my dissertation on the social and political history of post-partition Kashmir, which is where I was born and spent the first six years of my life before my family moved to the United States in 1993. I spent a year there doing research in grad school, and I plan to return next summer and do additional research to turn my dissertation into a book.”

What compelled me:

“Growing up, I was always been very interested in things going on in Kashmir, especially since I had extended family there. Initially, I was interested in international politics, but I came to realize that field wasn’t for me. I ended up studying history in grad school, and it’s where I found my grounding. Doing field work in Kashmir really deepened my sense of place. I feel like I was able to contribute knowledge to the world about the place, and that has been an incredible experience.”

What I hope to do:

“In college, I started an international service project to bring students to Kashmir. I found that it was a way for me to help people see Kashmir beyond the media highlights. I think that’s what’s important to me about teaching. There are these dominant narratives in the world, and I think it’s important to teach people about places they may not be familiar with. I think my role is to get students to ask critical questions about their place in the world.”

What I’m holding:

“This copper serving bowl is a traditional handicraft of Kashmir that people there have in their homes. People have been making this for hundreds and hundreds of years. For me, it represents my interest in history and studying people who have come before us. We sometimes like to think that our time and our place is the most forward, the most dynamic, the most innovative. But for me, looking back into history, it’s filled with so many wonders. I like to think about other times and other places and what they must have been like. This bowl represents the past and the enduring continuity into the present.”

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Categorized in: New Faculty