Afghans in the Persianate Age

Saturday July 24, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Poster design: Razman Goudarzi (UBC student; Current UBCPC President)

Please note that the event has been rescheduled from June 12th at 4pm to July 24th at 4pm. 

Presented in English with subtitles. Free & open to the public. Click the link below to register for the event.

Registration link:

Too often, Afghan peoples feature in public discourse exclusively as inhabitants of Afghanistan, a so-called ‘graveyard of empires’ and a site of endemic warfare. But who were the Afghans before the modern state of Afghanistan came into being? We will visit this question by observing how the history of Afghan peoples unfolded across Persianate Central and South Asia in pre-modern times. In particular, we will focus on Afghans traders, Sufis and service people in Hindustan, some of whom left behind a written record in Persian, the lingua franca, as well as Pashto and later, in the local vernacular, Urdu.

Naveena Naqvi is a historian of early modern and modern South Asia. Her research interests include the Persianate world (ca. 13th-19th centuries), with a focus on non-courtly Persographic writers in regional contexts during early colonial rule. Her broader fields of interest span the history of political Islam, gender and sexuality, and Hindustani music. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University in 2018-19 and completed her PhD in History at UCLA in 2018. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Persianate Islamic Cultures of South Asia. You can listen to her speak about her work here.

About the Alireza Ahmadian Lectures in Iranian and Persianate Studies: Alireza Ahmadian (1981 – 2019) was an enthusiastic researcher, a consummate socio-political analyst, and an opinion leader on foreign policy who nurtured the virtues of diplomatic dialogue and liberal democracy. Alireza was a proud and devoted UBC alumnus, supporter of UBC’s Asian Studies department, and beloved member of Canadian-Iranian Community. UBC’s Asian Studies department renamed this lecture series in his honour in 2019. The Ahmadian family and friends have provided funding to support this series, and this generous gift will see these important academic and community engagement events supported through to the end of the 2025/2026 academic year. To access the full list of events, click here.