Sabauon Nasseri awarded the 2021 CSA Wisch Fellowship

Sabauon Nasseri, graduate student in the Department of History, is awarded the 2021 Steven and Debi Wisch Fellowship for Graduate Research in South Asian Studies from the Center for South Asia at Stanford University.

The Wisch Fellowship is awarded to outstanding Stanford doctoral students who have demonstrated potential to advance scholarship in South Asian Studies. Applicants are nominated by their faculty advisor and are expected to undertake doctoral research during their fellowship term. The fellowship covers TGR fees, at least 50% of insurance costs, and a stipend at the university minimum for the academic year. Learn more about the CSA Wisch Fellowship >>

Nasseri's project description:

When we consider the historical trajectory of Afghanistan much of the region’s diversity gets elided due to an enduring selective amnesia about local and transregional networks of knowledge exchange. My dissertation, “The Red Flower of Life: The Afghan Left and the Cold War,” challenges this perspective by showing how South Asia, Iran, the USSR, Europe, the US, and elsewhere served as the political stage for Afghan intellectuals to explore leftist ideologies, and by tracing their contributions to both national and transcontinental struggles over the politics of radical resistance.

Afghanistan’s historical representation through the lenses of Islamic fundamentalism, suicide bombings, perpetual war, and its place within the international (in)security paradigm informs contemporary understandings and imagined realities. Portrayals of the nation through such singular constructs have occluded the multi-layered and transcontinental history of Afghanistan, insulating it from a larger global trajectory. Following the itinerant lives of various Afghan leftists, my work maps the gravitational forces of global socialism between 1963 and 1992. Documenting the less-examined radical course of Afghanistan’s past demonstrates the grass roots, shared historical context from which lower-class challenges to the post-colonial order arose in the Third World generally, and in South Asia specifically.

Using Afghanistan as a window, my work carves out a conceptual space for understanding the national and transnational dimensions of socialist movements across the subcontinent. Such a space alters the parameters through which historians have come to conventionally judge the retreat of the left – broadly defined – in the “Third World.”


Congratulations, Sabauon Nasseri!


Listen to Sabauon Nasseri reflect on U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on the SASSpod >>