FACULTY

Active and accomplished scholars engaging with students

Prof. Riyaz Latif

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


BIO

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.


RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS

JOURNAL ARTICLES



  • “Ornate Commemorations: Funerary Monuments for Queens in Sultanate Gujarat,” in the Proceedings of the Ernst Herzfeld Society 16th Colloquium (forthcoming 2023).

  • “Memory, Lamentation, Liberation: Ecumenical Visage of Indian Ta’ziya Processions” (under review for the journal Numen).

  • “Crowds and the Carnival: The Changing Faces of Jama’a al-Fna,” (in preparation)

  • “Negotiating the Metaphorical Frontiers: Aghlabid Ribats in Ifriqiya” (in preparation)

  • “Metaphorical Connectivity:  Visual Economy of Water in Marinid Madrasas” (in preparation)

  • “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.


BOOK REVIEWS



  • Review of Mehrdad Shokoohy and Natalie Shokoohy, “Bayana: The Sources of Mughal Architecture.” Xi, 737 pp. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020. ISBN 978 1 4744 6072 9.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 84, no. 1 (2021): 182–83.

  • 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: Kassam Z.R., Greenberg Y.K., Bagli J. (eds) Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism. Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. Springer, Dordrecht, 2018.


BOOKS



  • Sultanate Ahmadabad and Its Monuments: The City of the Muzaffarids (Ahmad Shahis), co-authored with Pushkar Sohoni (forthcoming in 2022; to be published by Primus Books).

  • Book Manuscript titled, Ornate Visions of Knowledge and Power: Marinid Madrasas in Maghrib al-Aqsa, (under review with De Gruyter, Germany).


LITERATURE



  • Do Hoñtoñ Ke Bîch Ye Dariya (Selection of Poems in Hindi-Nagari Script); forthcoming from Rekhta Books (2022).

  • ‘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.


 


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS


Invited Talks and Lectures
2022                     “Decoding the Strange in Buzurg ibn Shahriyar’s Kitab Ajaib al-Hind (Book of the Wonders of India),” talk delivered in the lecture series of the Seminar Committee, Department of History, University of Delhi (March 23, 2022).
2021                     Four Sessions, collectively titled, “Funerary Expressions in Indo-Islamic Art and Architecture,” for Jnanapravaha, Mumbai (December 2021).
2020                     Four Sessions, collectively titled, “Funerary Expressions in Indo-Islamic Art and Architecture,” for Jnanapravaha, Mumbai (December 2020).
Four Sessions, collectively titled, “Reflections on the Premodern Islamic Monuments in the Maghrib (Western North Africa),” for Jnanapravaha, Mumbai (September 8 -9, 2020).
2018                     Lecture titled “Ornate Archiving of Sovereignty: Visual Configuration of Marinid Madrasas in Morocco,” at Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar (November 18, 2018).
2017                     Lecture on Fourteenth-Century Marinid Madrasas in Morocco at Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India (August 7, 2017).
Talk titled “Figure and Ornament in the Art and Architecture of Premodern Islamic Cultures” delivered at the invitation of the Nashville State Community College (March 28, 2017).
2016                     Talk on the Marinid Funerary Precinct in the Chella Complex in Rabat, Morocco. Dorothy Ford Wiley Lecture sponsored by the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (November 4, 2016)


“Narrative Worlds of Islam in Ink, Silk and Gold;” Keynote Address at the Opening Event of the College Book Art Association’s Annual Meeting at the Frist Center in Nashville, TN (January 07, 2016)
2015                     Food for Thought Series at the Frist Center in Nashville, TN. Panelist to discuss Ilkhanid and later Persian Art in conjunction with the Ink, Silk and Gold Exhibition of Islamic Art from the MFA, Boston (November 10, 2015)
2014                     “Archiving Knowledge in Consecrated Earth: Madrasa in the Marinid Chella,” at the symposium The Bodhi Tree and the Orchid, at the University of Chicago, held in conjunction with the College Art Association annual meeting (February 15, 2014)
2012                     “Aspects of Modern Indian Literature and Culture,” at the Department of Humanities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (January 23 & April 19, 2012)
2010                     “Divergent Trajectories of Masjid-i-Qurtuba: Iqbal’s Imaginings and the Historical Life of the Monument” at the Urdu Humanities Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison (October 14, 2010)
2010                     “Genesis of Islamic Art,” Department of History, University of Minnesota (April 6, 2010)
2009                     “Islamic Art and Architecture in North Africa and Andalusia,” Macalester College, Minneapolis (March 31, 2009)
2008                     “Formative Impulses in Islamic Art,” Department of History, University of Minnesota (October 2008)
“Figural Representation in Islamic Art and Architecture,” Institute of Global Studies, University of Minnesota (August 2008)


SELECTED CONFERENCE AND SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATIONS
2021                     “Ornate Commemorations: Funerary Monuments for Queens in Sultanate Gujarat,” at the Ernst Herzfeld Society 16th Colloquium, hosted by Sapienza Universita di Roma, Italy (July 02, 2021)
2019                     “Ornate Commemorations: Funerary Monuments for Queens in Sultanate Gujarat,” at the American Council on Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) Symposium at the University of Edinburgh, UK (November 06-09, 2019)
2016                     “Crowds and the Carnival: The Changing Faces of Jama’a al-Fna,”at the College Art Association (CAA) Annual Meeting in Washington DC (February 03, 2016)
2015                     “Metaphorical Connectivity: Visual Economy of Water in Marinid Madrasas” Midwest Art History Society Annual Meeting at Minneapolis, MN (March 2015)
2014                     “Negotiating the Metaphorical Frontiers: Aghlabid Ribats in Ifriqiya” in the Conference entitled The Aghlabids and Their Neighbors: Art and Material Culture in Ninth-Century North Africa to be held at UNC-Chapel Hill Winston House, London, UK (May 23-24, 2014)
2010                     “Archiving Knowledge in Consecrated Earth: Madrasa-Zāwiyah in the Marinid Chella” Historians of Islamic Art Association Majlis held at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the College Art Association annual meeting (February 13, 2010)
2008                     “Ornate Configurations of Knowledge and Power: the 14th-century Bou Inania Madrasa at Fez” Middle Eastern Studies Association annual conference, Washington D. C. (Nov 2008)
“Social and Cultural Dimensions of the 14th-century Marinid Madrasas in Fez, Morocco,” at the Workshop for Center for Medieval Studies, University of Minnesota (February 2008)
2005                     American Institute for Maghribi Studies Dissertation Workshop, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Presented Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal, tentatively titled, “Madrasas of the Marinid reign in Fez.” (April 2005)


 


OTHER PUBLICATIONS


Selected Translations



  • Parmar, Jayant. Nazm Ya’ni, Collection of Poems translated into English. Ahmedabad: Sukhankada, 2013.

  • Poems translated by the Author, The Annual of Urdu Studies 27 (2012): 241-247.

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

  • Poems translated by the Author and Moazzam Sheikh, The Annual of Urdu Studies 20 (2005): 211-222.

  • 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.

  • Urdu Poems Mukhtar Siddiqi, Amiq Hanfi, Qazi Salim, Kumar Pashi, Adil Mansuri and others translated into English, in various issues of The Annual of Urdu Studies


 


SELECTED ONLINE PUBLICATIONS