Active and accomplished scholars engaging with students

Prof. Riyaz Latif

Ph.D. in Art History from University of Minnesota, USA; M.A. from University of Minnesota, USA; Diploma in Architecture from School of Architecture, Institute of Environment Design


Formerly trained as an architect, Riyaz Latif received his Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, USA, with a Mellon Foundation Fellowship from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and Barakat Foundation, USA. After completing his Ph.D., he held a postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Subsequently, he taught at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and then at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA until the summer of 2017.
As an art historian he primarily invested in premodern Islamicate cultures, his work seeks to address art and architectural expressions emerging out of composite cultural interactions in the western Mediterranean rim, especially in the Maghrib (western North Africa), as well as the circulation of material artifacts through trade, travel and maritime relationships, which profoundly connect the premodern Islamicate world with Europe on the one hand and South Asia on the other. His writing has also engaged with the visuality of water and landscapes. Academically, his work seeks to override disciplinary boundaries, where art historical inquiry is informed by historical and cultural, archeological, anthropological as well as literary--‐textual resources.
Over and above art and architectural history, Riyaz Latif’s other association extends to the realm of Indo--‐Persian literature and culture, especially the cultural world of Urdu. Along with two collections of poetry in Urdu, as well as a book of translations into Urdu from European poetry, he has published a number of articles, and has translated Urdu poetry and prose into English.


Book Manuscript:

  • Ornate Visions of Knowledge and Power: Marinid Madrasas in Maghrib al--‐ Aqsa (under review for publication)

Books in Urdu:

  • ‘Adam Taraash (Collection of Poems). Ahmedabad: Sukhankada, 2016.

  • Mera Khoya Awazah (Translations from European Poetry). Ahmedabad: Sukhankada, 2014.

  •  Hindasa Be--‐Khwaab Raaton Kaa (Collection of Poems). Ahmedabad: Sukhankada, 2006.

Selected Articles:

  • “Divergent Trajectories of ‘Masjid--‐e Qurtuba’: Iqbal’s Imaginings and the Historical Life of the Monument,” The Annual of Urdu Studies 26 (2011): 124--‐134.

  • “Coordinates of Infinity,” in Architecture, Time, Space and People 4:1 (January 2004): 32--‐38.

  • “Reflections on Ruins,” in Architecture, Time, Space and People 1:5 (May 2001): 61--‐65.

  • “Rashed and the Carnal Elegy,” The Annual of Urdu Studies 15:1 (2000): 77--‐84.

  • Currents of Humility,” in Indian Architect and Builder (June 1998): 49--‐59.

  • The Painted Veil,” in Indian Architect and Builder (April 1998): 113--‐114.

Articles in Progress/ Under Review:

  • “Crowds and the Carnival: The Changing Faces of Jama’a al--‐Fna.”

  • “Negotiating the Metaphorical Frontiers: Aghlabid Ribats in Ifriqiya.”

  • “Metaphorical Connectivity: Visual Economy of Water in Marinid Madrasas.”

  • “Archiving Knowledge in Consecrated Earth: Madrasa in the Marinid Chella.”

Book Reviews:

  • Review of Finbarr B. Flood, “Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval

“Hindu--‐Muslim” Encounter” in Speculum 87. 4 (October 2012): 1195--‐1196. Encyclopedia Entries:

  • “Humayun’s Tomb” in Encyclopedia of Indian Religions, Springer Press (Forthcoming)

Selected Translations into English:

  • Parmar, Jayant. Nazm Ya’ni, (Collection of Poems). Ahmedabad: Sukhankada, 2013.

  • Varis Alvi “Gabriel and Lucifer,” The Annual of Urdu Studies 20 (2005): 34--‐53.

  • Muhammad Mansha Yad, “Acquaintance,” The Annual of Urdu Studies 16: 2 (2001):

315--‐318. Reprinted in Rakhshanda Jalil, ed. Urdu Stories (New Delhi: Srishti Publishers & Distributors, 2002): 193--‐ 199.

  • Issar, Devender. Khushbu Ban ke Lotenge translated as Memoirs of Fragrance. Delhi: Kritika Books, 2000.

  • Selected Urdu Poems (of Mukhtar Siddiqi, Amiq Hanfi, Qazi Salim, Kumar Pashi, Adil Mansuri and so on) translated into English; published in various issues of The Annual of Urdu Studies.