In his talk, Dr. Hyder will highlight the manner in which Qurratulain Hyder and Muhammad Iqbal, two towering South Asian writers, accorded special importance to the lyrical (ghazal) register when imagining an order of Islam that challenges the boundaries determined by colonialism, nationalism, gender, and genre. He especially draws attention to the playful verses of Dagh Dahlavi, not only as a critical antecedent for Hyder and Iqbal, but also as a formational influence on broader, still-resonant narratives of history and belonging in Perso-Urdu cultural spheres.
Syed Akbar Hyder is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Islamic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests are anchored in comparative aesthetics, devotional literature, and the politics of canon formation in Urdu, Hindi, and Persian. His current work focuses on the ways in which Josh Malihabadi and Qurratulain Hyder confronted the dominant ideologies of nationalism, gender, religion, and region.