Ph.D. Columbia University
MA University of London (School Affiliations: School of Oriental and African Studies; London School of Economics)
Arafaat's first Book is entitled Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity (also increasingly being referred to as MPI). It has been published by Palgrave in 2011. Here's the dust-jacket description:
This creative study explores how Mohandas Gandhi's celebrated concept of satyagraha (non-violence) was eclipsed by the xenophobic Hindu nationalist movement that has organized ferocious episodes of ethnic cleansing against minority communities in contemporary India. By means of a close reading of Gandhi's writing on popular mobilization and resistance, and a detailed historical investigation of hitherto understudied episodes of satyagraha that took place in the first half of the twentieth century, Valiani illuminates debates on politics in South Asian history, anthropology, and sociology. Among other insights, this inquiry underscores the continuities and discontinuities between physical culture and various contending modes of popular political protest and activism in Gandhi's satyagraha movement and the militant Hindu nationalist movement in the western Indian state of Gujarat in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Interpreting his own direct observation of Hindu nationalist pogroms in contemporary Gujarat, in addition to testimonies and ethnographic observations of the inner workings of the movement that were revealed to the author when he was a "trainee" within it, this brilliant account offers readers a rare insider perspective on the social and religious world that historically and culturally produces militants. (click on www.militantpublics.com to read more).
My second book project is a comparative history of urban infrastructure development and its relationship to commerce and consumption in colonial and postcolonial India and Pakistan (1950-1980). I investigate the effects of urban planning initiatives that created contained spaces of commerce in an effort to augment merchant trade and consumption in the 1950 to 1980 period. Studying these spatial-economic shifts illuminates discussions about urban life in South Asia and the role of consumption and commerce within cities of the region and more broadly.
Before taking up his appointment in the Department of History at the University of Oregon, Arafaat Valiani was Assistant Professor at Williams College, and he was a Kluge Fellow at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress. He earned his doctoral degree from Columbia University. He also earned a Masters degree from the the School of Oriental and African Studies and the London School of Economics.