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Dr. Shah Mahmoud Hanifi

Cleveland Hall, Room 306
Office phone: 540-568-1743
MSC 2001
58 Bluestone Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Associate professor of history
Coordinator, Middle Eastern communities and migrations interdisciplinary minor


Ph.D., University of Michigan

Fields and specialties

Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia, principally since 1500; economic, social and cultural history, and cultural and historical anthropology

Teaching areas
Modern Middle East, Global South Asia, Afghanistan, colonialism, and world history

Research interests

Afghanistan, colonialism, nationalism, tribal history, nomadic societies, Islamic urbanism, historical linguistics, migration, diasporas, identity formation, the camel, forestry

Selected publications and presentations

Afghanistan's Photographic Heritage:  The Khalilullah Enayat Seraj Collection and Transcending the Visual Limits of a National Imaginary at the Royal Anthropological Institute's Anthropology and Photography Conference at the British Museum

“A History of Linguistic Boundary Crossing Within and Around Pashto,” in Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier, Magnus Marsden and Ben Hopkins, eds. London: Hurst & Co.; New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.

“Quandaries of the Afghan Nation,” in Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands, Shahzad Bashir and Robert D. Crews, eds. Harvard University Press., 2012

“Henry George Raverty and the Colonial Marketing of Pashto,” in Knowing India: Colonial and Modern Constructions of the Past, Cythnia Talbot, ed. New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2011.

Connecting Histories in Afghanistan: Market Relations and State Formation on a Colonial Frontier. Stanford University Press, 2011.

Mapping Afghanistan: Colonial, National, and Post-Colonial Cartograhpies. South Asian Studies Department at University of Pennsylvania.

Click here for links to some of Dr. Hanifi's publications in electronic format.

American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, Executive Board, 2003 - present; Treasurer, 2003 – present; Faculty Initiator South Asian Studies Minor-in-formation