In 2015-16, CSREG and the Department of Religious Studies hosted an ASIANetwork-Luce Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Ketaki Pant.
Ketaki Pant, Ph.D., Duke University, 2015
Ketaki Pant is a historian and anthropologist whose research focuses on ecumenical Islam in South Asia and its encounters with imperial political economy. Her current book project, based on her dissertation "Homes of Capital: Merchants and Mobility across Indian Ocean Gujarat," examines merchant homes as semiotically charged sites where imperial political economy came into contact with longer histories of Islamic itinerancy that shaped the Indian Ocean world from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Gujarat's Muslim merchants were active across imperial port-cities from Arabia to Southeast Asia but continued to maintain historic homes in ports of Gujarat. Her book explores the imaginative and cultural practices merchants developed around their historic homes to reconcile the multiple spatial and cultural attachments that were entailed in this dual identity of being both imperial and Muslim.
She is also developing a second project on the peripatetic zenanas (harems) of Hyderabad, which traces the histories of Indo-Arabian families active across South Asia and their encounters with the British colonial state. Dr. Pant received a B.A. in History and Africana Studies from Bard College and an M.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. In 2015, she received a Ph.D. in History from Duke University. Her research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Harvard University's Asia Center and Women's Studies at Duke University. At Bucknell, she taught courses on Islam in Asia; sex, gender, and family in colonial Asia; and material culture in Asia.