Anand Vivek Taneja to Discuss The Afterlife of Islamic Architecture: Ethics, Ecology, and Other Times in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi
Tuesday September 20th, the South Asia
Center, in conjunction with Syracuse University’s Departments of Anthropology
and Religion, will host Anand Vivek Taneja, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt
University, to discuss The Afterlife of Islamic Architecture: Ethics,
Ecology, and Other Times in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi. The lecture will
take place in 341 Eggers Hall at 12:30PM.
his fieldwork, Taneja often heard stories of people’s dreams of white robed
Muslim saints amongst Delhi’s medieval monuments. Visions of saints are
conceptualized as coming from an Elsewhere, not from inside the unconscious but
from outside the subject. But the persistent connection between these visions
and medieval ruins indicates that they are also linked to elsewhen,
times other than the contemporary moment. Ruins serve as thresholds of multiple
temporality not just in dreams, but also in ritual and cinema. In each of
these, ruins have ethical potential, the possibility of transformation for both
individuals and communities.
Vivek Taneja’s research and teaching interests include urban ecologies,
enchantment and ethics, animality, historical and contemporary Islam and
inter-faith relations in South Asia, post-colonial urbanism, Urdu literature,
and Bombay cinema. His book manuscript, Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and
Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi won the 2016 Joseph W.
Elder Award in the Indian Social Sciences. He has also published popular essays
on urban life, historical amnesia, and alternative forms of remembrance in The
Book Review, Time Out Delhi, The Indian Quarterly, and on the
websites Kafila.org and Chapati Mystery. He is currently
beginning a project on religion, infrastructure, and shifting ontologies in
urban North India.