An International Conference of the UCLA Program on Central Asia
November 17-18, 2011
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 the 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.
Organized by Nile Green, Professor of History and Chair, UCLA Program on Central Asia.
Funding for this conference is provided by the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies.
9:30-10:00 Coffee and Refreshments
10:00-10:15 Welcome and Introductions
10:15-12:30 Panel I
Ashraf Ghani, Chairman, Institute for State Effectiveness, Kabul (by Video Presentation)
Crafting History: A Tribute to Fayz Muhammad and Seraj-al-Tawarikh
Robert McChesney, NYU
Toeing the Line: Fayz Muhammad Katib's Career as Court Historian
Senzil Nawid, University of Arizona
Afghan Historiography in the Twentieth Century
Robert Nichols, Richard Stockton College, NJ
Reclaiming the Past: The Tawarikh-i Hafiz Rahmat Khani and Pashtun Historiography
Chair & Discussant: Farzin Vejdani, University of Arizona
Comparative Perspectives from Persian Historiography
1:45-2:00 Viewing Afghanistan: From Isolation to Interaction, Curator Talk with Nile Green, UCLA
2:00-4:00 Panel II
Amin Tarzi, Marine Corps University, Quantico
The Lasting Legacy of the Great Game: ‘Pashtunistan’ Through Afghan Lenses
Ingeborg Baldauf, Humboldt University, Berlin
Chori Laqay and the Qo’nghurot of North Afghanistan: Oral Histories and Written Stories
James Caron, University of Pennsylvania
Fictive Histories, Real Historiography: Time, Space, and Reality in 21st Century Afghan Prose Fiction
Chair & Discussant: James Gelvin, UCLA
Comparative Perspectives from Arab Historiography
Thomas Wide, Oxford University
An Afghan In Exile: Mahmud Tarzi In Istanbul 1929-1933
Naveena Naqvi, UCLA History
Haji Shamsuddin: An Indian Educationist in Afghanistan
Jawan Shir Rasikh, James Madison University
Afghanistan-Iran Imagined: A Debate of the Afghan-Iranian Nationalists, 1930s
Discussant: Robert McChesney, NYU
Pay-by-space parking is available in Parking Structure 3, located in the northeast corner of the UCLA campus.
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