Dr Chris Moffat
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Email: email@example.comRoom Number: ArtsTwo 2.19
I am a political and intellectual historian of modern South Asia with an interest in the shape and form of history’s ‘public life’ across the broader postcolonial world. To this end, my work engages both the philosophy and anthropology of the discipline. I joined Queen Mary in 2015, having completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014.
My research focuses on questions of historical methodology, especially where the discipline of history grapples with alternative conceptions of time and space, the interruptive influence of the dead, and the fraying or tangled threads of memory. I have written extensively on the Indian revolutionary martyr Bhagat Singh (1907-1931), tracing his continuing political potential into the twenty-first century and asking what it means to take such revenant figures seriously in the history of political thought.
I have a consonant interest in alternative or dissident commemorative practices, particularly as they relate to public space, public art and the politics of archival and architectural preservation.
In 2017 I began a three-year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in the School of History. This research explores the contested status of ‘the past’ in Pakistan’s politics and public life. I focus on the role of the built environment in mediating relationships to history, charting conflicts over the construction, conservation and destruction of buildings in Pakistan’s major urban centres.
- India’s Revolutionary Inheritance: Politics and the Promise of Bhagat Singh (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
- ‘History in Pakistan and the Will to Architecture’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East39:1 (2019) – Forthcoming
- ‘Against “Cultures of Hiatus": History and the Archive in the Political Thought of John La Rose’, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 55 (2018), 39-54.
- ‘Politics and the Work of the Dead in Modern India’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 60:1 (2018), 178-211.
- (With J Daniel Elam), ’On the Form, Politics and Effects of Writing Revolution’,South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39:3 (2016), 513-24.
- ‘Bhagat Singh’s Corpse’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39:3 (2016), 644-661.
- ‘Experiments in Political Truth’, Postcolonial Studies 16:2 (2013), 185-201.
- ‘The Past for Pakistan’ – Special Section of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 39:1 (2019) - Forthcoming
- (Co-edited with Kama Maclean and J Daniel Elam), Writing Revolution in South Asia: History, Practice, Politics(London and New Delhi: Routledge, 2017). [Originally published in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39:3 (2016)]
Selected Essays and Reviews
- ‘Rida Fatima’s Memento Mori’, The Friday Times (11 May 2018)
- ‘Passing Time at Bab-e-Pakistan’, The Friday Times (16 March 2018)
- ‘Afterlives (CSSH Behind the Scenes Feature’, Comparative Studies in Society and History Online Blog (January 2018)
- ‘Just in Time: On the Undoing of Indian Politics in the Films of Anand Patwardhan’, Berfrois(20 August 2015)
- ‘Infinite Inquilab’, The Caravan: A Journal of Politics and Culture (1 August 2013)
- ‘KK Aziz and the Coffee House of Lahore’, Kafila(1 June 2012).
Current PHD Students
- Maria Awan – A Discourse of Sympathy: Syed Ahmed Khan as Navigator of Feeling in Colonial India