November 8, 2011
COSAS Welcomes New Faculty
The year's newest members bring a broad spectrum of South and Southeast Asia credentials to the University of Chicago.
The 2011-2012 academic year brings several new faculty members with diverse teaching and research interests in South and Southeast Asia to the University of Chicago. The expertise and contributions of these new members are integral to the Committee's effort to advance the study of Southern Asia, and keep the University of Chicago one of the premier institutions for the study of South and Southeast Asia in the United States.
COSAS extends a warm welcome to all of our newest faculty members.
Read more about the new faculty members below.
Iza Hussin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, and keynote speaker at September's TAPSA workshop, joined the University of Chicago this past July 2011. Professor Hussin's principal research and teaching interests include Comparative Politics; Religion, Politics and the State; Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Asia; Law and Society; and Islam and Colonialism.
Her recent work has focused upon the mobility of law and legal projects in empire, and upon the politics of Islamic law in both contemporary and colonial periods. Her book on the transformation of Islamic law and the Muslim state during British colonization in India, Malaya and Egypt, The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority and the Making of the Muslim State, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Recent publications in journals and edited volumes include: " The Pursuit of the Perak Regalia: Law and the Making of the Colonial State," Law and Social Inquiry 32:3 (2007); "Ethnicity, Religion and the Paradox of Jurisdiction: Two Malaysian Cases," Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, 2010; and "The Making of Islamic Law: Local Elites and Colonial Authority in British Malaya," in Thomas Dubois, ed. Casting Faiths: Technology and the Creation of Religion in East and Southeast Asia, Palgrave Macmillan 2008. Her new research includes a collaborative project on Internet fatwa and a second book project on the mobility of law across the Indian Ocean arena.
Professor Hussin's work is based upon comparative, archival and textual research in Arabic, Malay and English texts across various sites of empire and legal transformation, and has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She has been a Fellow in Islamic Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and is a recipient of awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Convention of Asia Scholars.
Professor Hussin holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. In 2000, she earned a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies and her AB in Social Studies from Harvard University.
Dr. Vasudha Paramasivan joined the SALC department as assistant professor of Hindi language and literature in 2011. Her research focuses on the pre-modern literary and religious cultures of North India, Bhakti (devotional) literature, and aesthetics and poetics in pre-modern Hindi. She works with sources in Avadhi, Braj, Hindi and Sanskrit. Her current project is centered on the sixteenth century devotional text, the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas. Prof. Paramasivan's work explores the complex sets of interactions between various nineteenth century literary cultures – sectarian, courtly and colonial – that contributed to the emergence of the Ramcaritmanas as the principal text of Ram devotion in North India.
Vasudha's recent publications include: "Yah Ayodhyā Vah Ayodhyā: Earthly and Cosmic Journeys in the Ānand lahari", published in Patronage and Popularisation, Pilgrimage and Procession: Channels of Transcultural Translation and Transmission in Early Modern South Asia. Papers in Honor of Monika Horstmann, edited by Heidi Pauwels. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009. "Captivity and Curiosity", translation from Shekhar: Ek Jivani in Nationalism in the Vernacular: Hindi, Urdu, and the Literature of Indian Freedom, edited by Shobna Nijhawan. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2010. "The Question of Economic Independence for Women" and "The Condition of Hindu Wives", translations in Mahadevi Varma: Political Essays on Women, Culture and Society, edited by Anita Anantharam. New York: Cambria Press, 2010.
Dr. Paramasivan earned her PhD and MA in South and Southeast Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
C. Ryan Perkins
C. Ryan Perkins, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, joined the University of Chicago this July 2011. Dr. Perkins has a 2 year appointment in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations.
C. Ryan Perkins was introduced to the Persianate world of South Asia at a very early age when a good friend taught him a Persian word in the first grade. This youthful encounter was the catalyst for his interest in South Asia, and led to work with Afghan refugees during his undergraduate years, and scholarly research in India and Pakistan for his dissertation. Dr. Perkins has been the recipient of several fellowships, including a Fulbright Hays DDR Fellowship and a Penfield Dissertation Research Fellowship, and has been awarded numerous FLAS fellowships to study Pashto, Urdu, and Persian. He later taught at the University of Toronto's Center for South Asian Studies.
Dr. Perkins' recent work has focused on the literary, scholarly and cultural exchanges that have occurred between Afghanistan and the rest of South Asia. Current research includes a translation project of the writings of 20th century Pashto writers, and a collaborative literature project on the impact of the spread of Timurid culture from the 15th to the 18th century. He is also completing his book "On the Fringes of the Page: Abdul Halim Sharar and the Passion of Print in Colonial India ", where he highlights 19th century Indian Muslim intellectual and Urdu writer, Abdul Halim Sharar (1860-1926), and examines the significance of the expansion of private printing presses to mass mobilization efforts of the 20th century. Dr. Perkins has recently prepared an article for publication, "Print, Publics and Royal Beggars: The Case of the Anjuman-e Dar us Salam in Late Colonial India" and contributed to The Oxford Companion to the Literatures of Pakistan, which is forthcoming.
Dr. Perkins holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Department of South Asia Studies.