Great Games? Afghan History through Afghan Eyes
An International Conference of the UCLA Program on Central Asia held on November 17-18, 2011. Sponsored by the UCLA Asia Institute.
The year 2011 marks the eightieth anniversary of the death of Fayz Muhammad Katib, often considered to have been the founder of modern Afghan history writing. Whether in the present day or in Katib’s own period, Afghans have long invested in a multiplicity of historiographical models to make sense of the tortured development path of the Afghan state. Recent international intervention in Afghanistan has created or reproduced many narratives of the Afghan national story, from repeatedly doomed invasions to perpetual fault lines of ethnic division. Yet very little attention has been given to the ways in which Afghans themselves have understood their history, whether as national Afghans or international socialists, as members of ethnic qawms or Muslims.
This conference focuses on patterns and case studies of the historical writings which Afghans have produced in abundance since the formation of the Afghan state in the mid-eighteenth century and which form crucial but under-researched sources on Afghans’ own representations of state, society and culture. Bringing together the leading international specialists on Afghan historiography, the conference represents the first consolidated attempt to study the range of historical genres and narratives produced by Afghans themselves.
-Nile Green, Professor of History
Chair, UCLA Program on Central Asia
and Conference Organizer
- Ashraf Ghani, Chairman, Institute for State Effectiveness, Kabul
- Robert McChesney, NYU
- Senzil Nawid, University of Arizona
- Robert Nichols, Richard Stockton College, NJ
- Amin Tarzi, Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA
- Ingeborg Baldauf, Humboldt University, Berlin
- James Caron, University of Pennsylvania
An introduction by Nile Green, UCLA
Crafting History: A Tribute to Fayz Muhammad and Seraj-al-Tawarikh
Ashraf Ghani, Institute for State Effectiveness, Kabul
Afghan Historiography in the Twentieth Century
Senzil Nawid, University of Arizona
Reclaiming the Past: The Tawarikh-i Hafiz Rahmat Khani and Pashtun Historiography
Robert Nichols, Richard Stockton College, NJ
The Lasting Legacy of the Great Game: ‘Pashtunistan’ Through Afghan Lenses
A talk by Amin Tarzi, Marine Corps University, Quantico. Part of the conference: Great Games? Afghan History through Afghan Eyes
Curated by Nile Green, Viewing Afghanistan: From Isolation to Interaction is a special exhibition of Afghan historical books and documents held by the UCLA Young Research Library presented in conjunction with the conference from November 14, 2011 through December 16, 2011.
Download the conference program.
Great Games? Afghan History through Afghan Eyes was made possible with support from the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies.
Cosponsored by the G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies.
For more info please contact:
Video: Nile Green Discusses "Afghan History Through Afghan Eyes"
Taymor Kamrany interviews Green for "New Generation of Afghans TV"
Seeing Afghan history through Afghan eyes
Upcoming conference recognizes the 80th anniversary of the death of Fayz Muhammad Katib, the first major Hazara writer and historian, and the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.