Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Doctoral Candidates Receive Grants to Conduct Research in India

Wed, June 25, 2008

Peter Knapczyk, Ph.D. candidate in Asian Cultures and Languages, has received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Fellowship and American Institute for Indian Studies Junior Fellowship to conduct dissertation research. His dissertation is a literary and historical study of marsiya, a genre of elegiac poetry associated with Shi’i Muslims and their commemorations of the martyrdom of Karbala. Peter’s research focuses on the development of marsiya in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and its role in the burgeoning literary cultures of Dakani and Urdu.
Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, marsiya composed in Persian, Dakani, and Urdu were recited by poets across South Asia in the context of religious commemorations. Because a variety of religious communities participated in these commemorations, an important topic in Peter’s research will be the role played by marsiya composition and recitation in shaping religious identity in precolonial India.
Peter plans to travel widely in India to work with collections of unpublished manuscripts held in archives and libraries. He will be affiliated with Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.

Nathan Tabor, Ph.D. candidate in Asian Cultures and Languages, has received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Fellowship, and American Institute for Indian Studies Junior Fellowship, and a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant to perform dissertation research in India. Nathan's project focuses on Urdu poetry recitals in New Delhi and the ways in which India's Urdu speaking Muslim minorities utilize performed and printed poetic texts to engage with the political sphere. By examining recited poetry and its channels of dissemination, the project aims to better understand the cultural and social tensions undergirding contemporary Indian civil society. For these grants, he will be affiliated with the Department of Urdu at Jamia Millia Islamia.

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