This year’s Breckenridge Memorial Lecture will be given by Faisal Devji, a University Reader in Modern South Asian History at the University of Oxford. His 2005 book, Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity, transformed the study of militant Islam and received enthusiastic reviews; the New York Review of Books described it as “brilliant.” He has written three books since: The Terrorist in Search of Humanity: Militant Islam and Global Politics (2008); The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptation of Violence (2012); and Muslim Zion: Pakistan as Political Idea (2013).
Now in its fourth year the Carol Breckenridge Memorial Lecture in South Asian History was established in 2010 as an annual lecture in remembrance of historian and scholar of global culture New School professor Carol Breckenridge (1942-2009). Breckenridge brought along with her to different cities and campuses not only her erudition and insight into intellectual debates on global and transnational issues, but also her formidable gift of inspiring others. In 1988 Breckenridge founded the path-breaking journal Public Culture with her husband, the anthropologist Arjun Appadurai. Shaping the emerging field of transnational and cultural studies in a decisive way, Public Culture became a major journal for the discipline of anthropology. She later established the Sister Cities Project and wrote articles and books co-edited with colleagues, which brought new perceptions to the field and remain as evidence of her unstinting efforts against the stultifying effects of academic parochialism on the world at large.
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