Ahmed, Manan

Associate Professor

Office Hours

ON LEAVE AY '18-19



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


Service AY '18-19

Departmental: Summer School Coordinator

University: EPPC Evaluation Sub-Committee


Interests and Research

Manan Ahmed, Associate Professor, is interested in the relationship between text, space and narrative. His areas of specialization include Muslim intellectual history in South and Southeast Asia; critical philosophy of history, early modern and modern South Asia. His first monograph, A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia (Harvard University Press, 2016) is an intellectual history of a text— the early thirteenth century Persian history called Chachnama— and a place— the medieval city of Uch Sharif in southern Punjab, Pakistan. His current book project is a comparative, global project on philosophy of history stretching from the thirteenth through nineteenth century, focusing on Arabic, Persian and Urdu histories and their relationship to the emergence of “World History” (Weltgeschichte) in the nineteenth century.

He is the co-founder of the Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities at Columbia. His work in Digital History focuses on spatial and textual understandings of medieval past—for example, "Delivering post by foot in medieval north India.” He is one of the faculty conveners for the “Manuscripts of the Muslim World” digitization project. A recent DH collaboration is focused on the southwest borderlands.



Manan Ahmed teaches "History of South Asia I" — a survey from medieval to the early modern period — in the Fall semseter. His other regular courses are "Worlds of Mughal India," "Borderlands: Towards the Spatial History of Empire," "Walking & Colonialsm." He incorporates a Digital History Lab with most of his courses. The syllabi for the various courses are available here.


His articles and reviews can be accessed via Columbia Academic Commons.

Manan Ahmed Asif. Quarantined histories: Sindh and the question of historiography in colonial India- Part I. History Compass, 2017;15:e12403. 

Manan Ahmed Asif. Quarantined histories: Sindh and the question of historiography in Colonial India—Part II. History Compass. 2017;15:e12398.

Manan Ahmed Asif. Narratives of Earliest Hindu-Muslim Encounters. Oxford Handbook of the Mughal World. 2017.

Manan Ahmed Asif. A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016.

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

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

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

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

Manan Ahmed. "Adam's Mirror: The Frontier in the Imperial Imagination" in Rohit Chopra (ed) Reflections on Empire Redux, Economic & Political Weekly, vol. XLVI, no. 13, March-April, 2011.

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