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Thinking Historically in Sultanate Deccan: The Tārīkh-i Firishta - Emma Flatt
Thinking Historically in Sultanate Deccan: The Tārīkh-i Firishta - Emma Flatt
WhenFriday, Jan. 31, 2020, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationDenny Hall (DEN)
Campus room211
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsSouth Asia Center
Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas
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Thinking Historically in Sultanate Deccan: The Tārīkh-i Firishta
Lecture by Emma Flatt (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Recent work on the sixteenth century Deccan has emphasized the extent to which the past, particularly the built heritage of earlier rulers, constituted a useful resource for constructing the present. Focusing on one of the most well-known but under-analysed Persian historical chronicles, the Tārīkh-i Firishta, this paper will consider to what extent and in which ways this historian considered the past and historical writing to constitute a useful resource for the exigencies of the present.

How did the contemporary political, religious and cultural complexities of Firishta’s own time affect his understanding of the past? Which events, individuals and places seemed to loom largest in historical memory? How did the norms of Persian historiographical writing constrain Indo-Persian writers like Firishta in their presentation of the past? How did he deal with the divergent dating systems, calendars, chronologies and cosmologies that circulated in the contemporary Deccan? And finally, to what extent was Firishta’s way of thinking about the past shared more broadly in the Deccan?

Dr. Emma Jane Flatt is an Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Flatt is the author of The Courts of the Deccan Sultanates: Living Well in the Persian Cosmopolis (Cambridge University Press 2019).

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