[P4949] Networks of Circulation and the Exchange of Ideas in Modern Afghanistan

Created by Marjan Wardaki
Monday, 11/20/17 10:30am


A common form of assessing the history of knowledge production in Asia and the Middle East has been to understand it as a movement that originated in the West and diffused to the East through imposed colonial structures. This panel offers an examination of alternative forms of knowledge production in Afghanistan, which emerged from transnational networks and highlights the multiplicity of boundaries, claims of differences, and a process in which Afghans consciously engaged with and transformed new ideas in Afghanistan and beyond.
Our panel builds on new studies on Afghanistan to examine cross-border networks and mobile key actors, who partook in the political and social geography of the region. The papers presented here examine different case studies that uncover how Afghans produced and presented information. Our goal is to uncover different ways, in which knowledge was produced through the medium of political or imperial avenues, Islamic religious and legal codes, and technological and fascist circles. The aim is to highlight instances when knowledge production in Afghanistan was shaped by mobile and fluid global and international networks.
The papers presented here cover a range of different subjects including the
role of Afghan frontier as a zone for imperial administration knowledge production, a microhistorical analysis of Amanullah Khan's reformist ideas reworked into a Hanafi religio-legal worldview, the transformation of a fascist pedagogy into Afghan curricula, and the role of the radio and popular culture connecting Afghans to a wider transnational audience.
Addressing questions of connectivity, exchange and the flow of ideas, each paper provides a simultaneous attentiveness to the local context, which in turn shaped the global network in which they were embedded.


American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS)





Robert Crews

(Stanford University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair; Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Faiz Ahmed

(Brown University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Mejgan Massoumi

(Stanford University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Benjamin Hopkins

(The George Washington University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;