PUBL.- India and Central Asia
Posted by: Scott Levi <email@example.com>
Scott C. Levi, ed., India and Central Asia: Commerce and Culture,
1500-1800 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007). ISBN:
0195686470. (The volume is currently available from OUP India, and it
will soon be available from OUP in Europe and North America as well.)
Most scholarly works and textbooks characterize the medieval
Indo-Central Asian relationship as more or less unidirectional and
violent, defined by successive waves of aggressive Turko-Afghan
Islamic invasions of a passive Hindu India. They also tend to overlook
the peaceful exchange of people, ideas, and material goods. Departing
from the traditional scholarship, this reader, the eighth in the
Debates in Indian History and Society series, provides new insights
into India's relations with Central Asia between the sixteenth and
Did India's relationship with Central Asia grow during the period
under consideration or falter? Were cultural or commercial connections
more significant? India and Central Asia raises some important
questions. In an incisive introduction, Scott Levi examines the key
contours of various debates and the changing historiographical
perspectives. He also investigates areas where new issues have
emerged, and others that await further investigation.
The book is divided into two parts. The first section on commercial
relations deals with Mughal-Uzbek relations, trade patterns,
commercial structures, merchant networks, and the Indian diaspora. It
conclusively questions the notion that Indo-Central Asian trade in
this period suffered a general decline. Highlighting active
socio-religious connections, the second part discusses the Central
Asian heritage of the Mughal rulers, Fargana's contacts with India,
and the impact of Central Asian Sufism on Islam in India. It also
explores Perso-Islamic cultural exchanges and cross-fertilization in
the field of literature, painting, religion, and astronomy.
Including contributions from Muzaffar Alam, Stephen Dale, Claude
Markovits, Jo-Ann Gross, Richard Foltz, and Jos Gommans among other,
this reader presents the most ambitious and influential studies on an
emerging subject. It will be a significant reader for students,
scholars, and teachers of Medieval Indian history, particularly for
courses that engage Central Asia, the Mughals and Sufism.
Scott C. Levi is Assistant Professor of Central Asian and Islamic
World History, University of Louisville, USA.
Introduction - Scott Levi
I. Commercial Connections
1. Mughal India and Central Asia in the Eighteenth Century: an
Introduction to a Wider Perspective - Jos Gommans
2. Trade, State Policy and Regional Change: Aspects of Mughal-Uzbek
Commercial Relations, c.1550-1750 - Muzaffar Alam
3. India, Russia and the Eighteenth-Century Transformation of the
Central Asian Caravan Trade - Scott Levi
4. Indian Merchant Communities in Central Asia - Claude Markovits
II. SOCIO-RELIGIOUS CONNECTIONS
5. Cultural Contacts Between Central Asia and Mughal India - Richard Foltz
6. The Legacy of the Timurids - Stephen Dale
7. The Ahrari Waqf in Kabul in the Year 1546 and the Mughul
Naqshbandiyyah - Stephen Dale and Alam Payind
8. The Naqshband_ya Connection: from Central Asia to India and Back
(16th-19th Centuries) - Jo-Ann Gross
9. Farghana's Contacts with India in the 18th and 19th Centuries
(According to the Khokhand Chronicles) - T. K. Beisembiev
Muzaffar Alam is Professor, South Asian Languages and Civilizations at
the University of Chicago.
Timur K. Beisembiev is Senior Research Associate, Institute of
Oriental Studies, Almaty.
Stephen F. Dale is Professor of History at Ohio State University.
Richard Foltz is Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia
Jos Gommans is Senior Lecturer, History of South Asia at Leiden University.
Jo-Ann Gross is Professor of History at The College of New Jersey.
Scott C. Levi is Assistant Professor of History at University of
Claude Markovits is Director of Research at Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique, Paris.
Alam Payind is Director, Middle East Studies Center at Ohio State University.
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