CMES Colloquium: Did Firishta have a Philosophy of History?

September 14, 2017 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE ), 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Firishta’s Tari’kh (ca. 1610) first translated into English in 1768 by Alexander Dow, quickly spread throughout Europe and was cited in “universal” histories and philosophies of history by Gibbon, Kant, Mill, Herder, Hegel and others. Though written in Persian during the reign of Deccan Sultan Ibrāhīm ʿĀdel Shah II (1580-1627), Firishta’s history received European attention mainly through its many translations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A return to the Persian text, and its intellectual and genealogical structures, thus offers a way of thinking outside of the colonial episteme— to a certain degree of course. My interest in this paper are two related queries: what did Firishta put forth as his philosophy of History and what future did that philosophy have in both colonial and colonized historiographies. The larger question of the viability of any effort to indigenize history will remain at the margins of this particular presentation.

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