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In Defeat Lies Victory: Loss and Commemoration in Hindi Historical Poetry

Allison Busch, Columbia University

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 3:30pm
Thomson Hall 317

Much of Mughal history has been reconstructed from Persian sources that represent the point of view of empire. In this talk Professor Busch discusses literary traditions of memory that were recorded in old dialects of Hindi and commissioned by regional ‘Rajput’ courts. One special interest of vernacular writers was the problem of Mughal succession conflict (sultānī jang), in which countless local soldiers and heroes lost their lives. Certain Hindi genres of this period can thus be seen as acts of commemoration that reflect a deeply emotional engagement with the existential realities of war and death.

Allison Busch is Associate Professor in Columbia University's Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies Department. Learn more at her Columbia University page.

Sponsored by the UW South Asia Center and the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures. For more information, please contact Keith Snodgrass at