Islam and the Humanities

Conference 2018

Margrit Pernau


Saiyid Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) is often called modern – be it that he is deemed to have a modern outlook or that he has fought to lead his community into modernity. But what was his own concept of modernity, given the fact that Urdu did not have a word for this, and that he neither created a neologism nor used the English word? The paper uses his writings to trace a semantic net of concepts linked to time, to places associated with temporal categories, and to the emotions which are evoked by these concepts.


Margrit Pernau is senior researcher at the Max Planck Center for the History of Emotions in Berlin and extraordinary professor at the Freie Universität. Her work focuses on the social and cultural history of North Indian Muslims in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her recent publications include: Ashraf into Middle Classes: Muslims in nineteenth-century Delhi. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013, a coauthored volume on Civilizing Emotions. Concepts in Nineteenth-Century Asia and Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Besides she has recently edited two special issues, Emotion concepts in Urdu and Bengali, Contributions to the History of Concepts, 11 (2016) and Feeling communities. Indian Economic and Social History Review, 54(1). (2016).