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Professor Bashir specializes in the intellectual and social histories of Persianate societies of Iran and Central and South Asia circa fourteenth century CE to the present. His published work is concerned with the study of Sufism and Shi’ism, messianic movements originating in Islamic contexts, representation of corporeality in hagiographic texts and Persian miniature paintings, religious developments during the Timurid and Safavid periods, and modern transformations of Islamic societies. His current major project is a book tentatively entitled Building the Past: Memory, Metaphor, and Reality in Islamic Narratives. This work is a wide-ranging assessment of materials produced in Persianate societies circa 1400-1600 CE that claim to represent the past. It seeks to understand constructions of time and human experience in these texts, leading eventually to a cultural history of an Islamic cosmopolitan arena that derived its identity from Persian language and literary forms. This work also engages contemporary academic debates regarding language, historiography, and history on the basis of materials of Islamic provenance.
Ph.D., Yale University (1998), A.B., Amherst College (1991)