PhD Pre-Submission Seminar by Saidalavi P.C.: Hierarchy, Values and Islam: Social Organisation of Muslims in Malabar, South India

Please join us for Saidalavi’s pre-submission seminar.

Title: Hierarchy, Values and Islam: Social Organisation of Muslims in Malabar, South India

Speaker: Saidalavi Palamadathil Chemban Thodika

Date and Time: Friday, 19 November 2021, 3 pm

Via Zoom: https://anu.zoom.us/j/4604539898?pwd=UzhNTDkxNWlBd0lESGQxSmJhYW9xUT09Meeting ID: 460 453 9898 Password: 509665

Abstract: This thesis argues that hierarchy among Muslims in the Indian subcontinent should be understood on its own terms. Based on 14 months of fieldwork among Muslims in Malabar, I show that Muslim lives are mediated by several hierarchical practices such as endogamy, commensal restrictions, occupational specialisations, distinctions at the ritual spaces and status claims based on lineages. These practices are further inflected by ideas of intimacy, humiliation, dignity, egalitarianism and Islam. Some of these ideas animate the lifeworld of both Hindus and Muslims in Malabar. And yet, drawing on ethnographic analysis, I would show that in the lives of Muslims, hierarchical relations have at times been enriched and reconfigured by concepts and categories from Islam. At other times they have been contested, fuelled by the egalitarian potentialities and imperatives of Islam.

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