Manan Ahmed

Manan Ahmed

Assistant Professor

502 Fayerweather Hall
Office Hours: Wednesday 10am-12pm


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 monograph, A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia (Harvard University Press, 2016) on Islam’s arrival to Sindh in the 8th century traces the longue durée history of a 13th century Persian text among varied communities in South Asia. His areas of specialization include intellectual history of Islam in South and Southeast Asia; frontier-spaces and the city in medieval South Asia; imperial and colonial historiography. He is involved in Digital Humanities projects-- and is the co-founder of the Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities at Columbia. His work in DH focuses on spatial and textual understandings of medieval past— a recent collaborative project is "Delivering post by foot in medieval north India."


Manan Ahmed teaches a survey of South Asia from medieval to the early modern period in the Fall semester. His regular courses focus on medieval history of India, borderlands and frontier space, and Walking & Colonialism. The syllabi for the various courses are available here.

Selected Publications

Manan Ahmed Asif and Anand Vivek Taneja, “Introduction to Ethics, and Enchantment in South Asia and the Middle East” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East Vol. 35, No. 2, 2015.

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.