Manan Ahmed

Manan Ahmed

Assistant Professor

502 Fayerweather Hall
Phone: (212) 851-0125
Office Hours:


Ph.D. – University of Chicago, 2008
B.A. – Miami University, Ohio 1997
B.A. – Punjab University, 1991

Interests and Research

Manan Ahmed, Assistant Professor, is interested in the relationship between text, space and narrative. His work on Islam’s arrival to Sindh in the 8th century traces the longue durée history of contestations among varied communities in South Asia. His areas of specialization include political and cultural history of Islam in South and Southeast Asia, frontier-spaces and the city in medieval South Asia, imperial and colonial historiography, and philology. He is involved in Digital Humanities projects - especially with visualizing space in medieval texts and texualizing medieval and early-modern maps. Ahmed is currently working on a study of the early 13th century account of Uch, Sind. His articles can be found at Columbia Commons


Manan Ahmed teaches a survey of South Asia from medieval to the early modern period in the Fall semester. In Spring 2014, he will be teaching a seminar on Mughal memoirs. Another "regular" course will be a history of walking-accounts of the Central and South Asia, entitled "Walking and Colonialism". His course syllabi are available on the Columbia's Academic Commons.

Selected Publications

Manan Ahmed Asif, "A Demon With Ruby Eyes." The Medieval History Journal, October, 2013; 16 (2).

Manan Ahmed Asif, "Advent of Islam in South Asia" in Roger Long (edited), History of Pakistan, (Karachi: Oxford University Press) April, 2014.

Manan Ahmed Asif, "Idols in the Archive." The Journal of Asian Studies, February, 2014: 73(1).

"Future's Past" in Adil Najam and Moeed Yusuf (edited) South Asia 2060, (London: Anthem Press) July, 2013.

"The Long Thirteenth Century of the Chachnama." The Indian Economic and Social History Review, 49, 4 (2012): 459-91.

"Introduction," The Indian Economic and Social History Review, 49, 4 (2012): 455-57.

"Adam's Mirror: The Frontier in the Imperial Imagination" in Rohit Chopra (edited)Reflections on Empire Redux, EPW vol. XLVI, no. 13, March-April, 2011.

Where the Wild Frontiers Are: Pakistan and the American Imagination. Just World Books, 2011.