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Prof. Farhat Hasan, PhD

Senior Research Fellow


Areas of interest

  • Medieval and Early Modern period in South Asian History
  • Linkages between the Early Modern and the Colonial Period
  • Interstitial Spaces between the ‘Sacred’ and the ‘Profane’
  • Political Culture, Religious Identities and Conflicts, Patterns of Urbanization, Social Communication and Literary Trends

Project Description

Arguing that secularity is not an exclusive development of the western/colonial historical experience, this project is interested in exploring its articulation in varied spaces, within a global frame of reference. It is hoped that the realization of global secularities would help us develop a more inclusive, less Eurocentric understanding of secularity and secularization, and help us formulate new vocabularies and terminologies to apprehend these concepts and developments. While the impact of colonialism in shaping socio-cultural life in the colonized world is unmistakable, discussions on the political culture have largely tended to ignore the conversations and contestations therein. Focusing on the case of secularity and secularism, this project seeks to examine indigenous initiatives and understandings to understand the dialogic engagement that was so crucial to the development of secularity and secularism in the colonial world. In order to understand the historical specificities, it is important to go back in history to the pre-colonial world, and examine the courtly cultures, inter-religious communications, scientific knowledge and realms of exchange and market. The project is concerned with understanding the genealogy of secularity by drawing continuities (and ruptures) with the pre-colonial world.


2022 - present

Partner Investigator (PI), Australian Research Project (ARC) Discovery Project on ‘Pursuing Public Health in the Pre-Industrial World, 1100-1800’, since August 2022 (main investigator: Prof. Guy Geltner, Monash University, Australia)

2007 - present

Professor of Early Modern South Asian History, Department of History, University of Delhi (India)

2006 - 2007

Member-in-Charge, Public Relations Office, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (India)


Appointed Visiting Fellow at the Maison des Sciences de’l Homme, Paris (France)

2005 - 2012

Deputy Director, Centre for Women’s Studies, Aligarh Muslim University (India)

2000 - 2007

Reader in History, Center of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University (India)

1989 - 2000

Lecturer in History, Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University (India)

Relevant Publications

  • Hasan, Farhat. “Sectional President’s Address: Social Change and Imperial Sovereignty in Micro-Spaces: Exploring the Mughal State Formation from Below.” Proceedings of the Indian History Congress 80 (2022): 320-41.
  • Hasan, Farhat. Paper, Performance and the State: Social Change and the Political Culture in Mughal India. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “Mughal Authority: The View from Below.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Mughal World, edited by Richard M. Eaton, and Ramya Sreenivasan, 1-21. Online Publication, 2020.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “Nationalist Representations of the Mughal State: The Views of Tilak and Gandhi.” Studies in People’s History 6, no. 1 (2019): 52-62.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “Religion in the History of 1857.” In Facets of the Great Revolt: 1857, edited by Shireen Moosvi, 135-42. New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2008.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “The Religious Shade of the Rebellion.” Economic and Political Weekly 42, no. 19 (2007): 1681-82.
  • Hasan, Farhat. Madaris and the Challenges of Modernity in Colonial India.” In Islamic Education, Diversity and National Identity: Dini Madaris in India Post 9/11, edited by Jan-Peter Hartung, and Helmut Reifeld, 56-72. New Delhi: Sage, 2006.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “Globalization and Post-Modernism: Defending Foucault’s Interrogation of Modernity.” In Globalization, Language, Culture and Media, edited by B.N. Patnaik, and S. Imtiaz Hasnain, 233-46. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 2006.
  • Hasan, Farhat. State and Locality in Mughal India: Power Relations in Western India, c. 1572-1730. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Hasan, Farhat.”Forms of Civility and Publicness in Pre-British India.” In Civil Society, Public Sphere and Citizenship: Dialogues and Perceptions, edited by Rajeev Bhargava, and Helmut Reifeld, 84-105. New Delhi: Sage, 2005.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “Towards a Theory of Social Communication in Pre-colonial India." Proceedings of the Indian History Congress 63 (2003): 396-411.
  • Hasan, Farhat. “Muslim Liberal Reform Movements in Modern South Asia: A Quest for Identity and Power.”; published under the title “The Quest for Identity.” In The South Asian Century, edited by Zubeida Mustafa, 79-88. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001.