Ajam Podcast #18: Of Gardens and Graves in Kashmir

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In this episode, Teren Sevea, an Assistant Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, interviews Suvir Kaul, the A. M. Rosenthal Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kaul is the the author of the book: Of Gardens and Graves: Essays on Kashmir, published by Duke University Press in 2017.

Dr. Sevea and Dr. Kaul open the episode with a discussion about the political history of Kashmir’s division and occupation, as well as how India’s BJP-majority government has recently revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, dramatically affecting the everyday lives of people in the region. They then explore the role of Kashmiri poetry as a medium for understanding the decades-long occupation, as well as the resistance to it. Finally, the episode closes with a reading of “A Pastoral,” a poem written by the late Srinagar-born poet Agha Shahid ‘Ali (1949-2001) in dedication to Dr. Kaul.

(Image Credit: Suhail Skindar Sofi)


Suvir Kaul is the A. M. Rosenthal Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published four books, Of Gardens and Graves: Essays on Kashmir; Poems in Translation (Duke University Press, 2016), Eighteenth-century British Literature and Postcolonial Studies (Edinburgh University Press, 2009), Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire: English Verse in the Long Eighteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2001), and Thomas Gray and Literary Authority: Ideology and Poetics in Eighteenth-Century England (Stanford University Press, 1992).


Teren Sevea is a historian of religion in South and Southeast Asia at the Department of South Asia Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of a forthcoming book entitled Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya. He has also co-edited a volume entitled Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia, and is the author of number of book chapters and journal articles pertaining to Indian Ocean networks, Sufi textual traditions, Islamic sex manuals and the socioeconomic significance of spirits. 


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