About

Shayan Rajani is Assistant Professor of History at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He received his doctoral degree in History from Tufts University. His research is on early modern Sindh and South Asia, gender and sexuality, and regional and ethnic identities. His work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

His first book project, Leaving Legacies: The Individual in Early Modern South Asia, examines the enterprise of assembling texts, monuments, and children as concerted material traces for posterity. It investigates the intellectual, social, and material history of the individual in South Asia between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries. Using little-known and to-date underutilized textual sources in Persian and Sindhi, alongside the study of buildings, epigraphy, and objects, the book reveals how the gendered individual was central to Mughal and post-Mughal order. Studying materiality alongside textuality, and the vernacular Sindhi alongside the cosmopolitan Persian, it also brings the changing relationship between elite practices of individuality and subordinate people into view.

At LUMS, Rajani teaches courses including “The Mughals and their World”, “A People’s History of Pakistan,” “Gender, Sexuality, and South Asia,” and “Sindh and the World.”
 

Publications

“Before Ethnicity: Reading Sindh between Religion, Race, Language, and Nation.” Philological Encounters 7, no. 1–2 (2022): 129–60. https://doi.org/10.1163/24519197-bja10029.

“Competing for Distinction: Lineage and Individual Recognition in Eighteenth-Century Sindh.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 30, no. 3 (2020): 397–416. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1356186320000061.

“Regionalization Without Vernacularization: The Place of Persian in Eighteenth-Century Sindh.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 63, no. 5–6 (2020): 788–819. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685209-12341527.

Rajani, S. (2020). "Competing for Distinction: Lineage and Individual Recognition in Eighteenth-Century Sindh". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 30 (3), doi:10.1017/S1356186320000061.

Rajani, S. (2020). "Regionalization without Vernacularization: The Place of Persian in Eighteenth-Century Sindh". Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient.

Rajani, S. (2018). "Competing for Distinction: Lineage and Individual Recognition in Eighteenth Century Sindh". European Conference on South Asian Studies, Paris, France.

Rajani, S. (2018). "Moving in Makli: The Politics of Walking in Eighteenth Century Sindh". International Conference on Makli, Thatta, Pakistan.

Rajani, S. (2017). "Of Approbation and Imprecation: The Growing Stakes of Regional Affiliation in Eighteenth Century South Asia". South Asian Studies Graduate Conference, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2016). "Obstructing Geography: Resisting British Interventionism in Early Nineteenth Century Sindh". Shades of Sovereignty Workshop, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2016). "Obstructing Geography: Resisting British Interventionism in Early Nineteenth Century Sindh". Shades of Sovereignty Workshop, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2016). "A Home in People: Deterritorialized Ideas of Belonging in Mughal India". Tufts Graduate Humanities Conference, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2016). "Obstructing Geography: Resisting British Interventionism in Early Nineteenth Century Sindh". American Institute of Pakistan Studies Junior Scholars Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2016). "Contemplating the Extraordinary: The Rise of the Wonders and Marvels Genre in the Eighteenth Century". Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2014). "The Geographic Imagination of Non-Metropolitan Intellectuals". 25th Anniversary Conference of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Rajani, S. (2013). "Protest for the Prophet: The Anti-Ahmadi Disturbance of 1953". South Asian Studies Graduate Conference, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.