Title Persianate Selves
Subtitle Memories of Place and Origin Before Nationalism
Author Mana Kia
ISBN 9781503611955
List price USD 30.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 342
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2020
Original publisher Stanford University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“Few questions are more vexed in the study of early modern Asia, with evidence more evanescent, than how people identified before nationalism. Persianate Selves is an invaluable vade mecum for navigating the transregional Persianate past.”

Nile Green, University of California, Los Angeles


Persianate Selves disturbs our national imaginaries and challenges the way we write Persianate history. Whether one contests or agrees, we will all have to engage with the different terms of analysis Mana Kia offers in this pioneering work.”

Kathryn Babayan, University of Michigan


Persianate Selves traverses a now-vanished cosmopolitan world and suggests a fascinating new approach to conceptualizing a shared cultural space. This engaging book is sure to generate considerable discussion among scholars interested in the intellectual cultures of the world before the nationalist divide.”

Muzaffar Alam, University of Chicago


For centuries, Persian was the language of power and learning across Central, South, and West Asia, and Persians received a particular basic education through which they understood and engaged with the world. Not everyone who lived in the land of Iran was Persian, and Persians lived in many other lands as well. Thus to be Persian was to be embedded in a set of connections with people we today consider members of different groups. Persianate selfhood encompassed a broader range of possibilities than contemporary nationalist claims to place and origin allow. We cannot grasp these older connections without historicizing our conceptions of difference and affiliation.

With this book, Mana Kia sketches the contours of a larger Persianate world, historicizing place, origin, and selfhood through its tradition of proper form: adab. In this shared culture, proximities and similarities constituted a logic that distinguished between people while simultaneously accommodating plurality. Adab was the basis of cohesion for self and community over the turbulent eighteenth century, as populations dispersed and centers of power shifted, disrupting the circulations that linked Persianate regions. Challenging the bases of protonationalist community, Persianate Selves seeks to make sense of an earlier transregional Persianate culture outside the anachronistic shadow of nationalisms.



Notes on Dates and Transliteration

Dramatis Personae



INTRODUCTION. The Shadow of Nationalism


Chapter 1. Landscapes

Chapter 2. Remembering, Lamenting

Chapter 3. Place-Making and Proximity



Chapter 4. Lineages and Their Places

Chapter 5. Kinship Without Ethnicity

Chapter 6. Naming and Its Affiliations

Chapter 7. Commemorating Persianate Collectives, Selves


CODA. Memories and Multiplicity (Lost and Lingering)





About the Author:

Mana Kia is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University.

Target Audience:

People interested in history, middle east studies and asian studies.


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