Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Muntazir Ali

PhD Candidate in Religious Studies
Summer Fellow 2023
Project Title: Chitral, 1920-1969: Reorientation, Accession, and Integration

Muntazir is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies. He has an MSt. in Modern South Asian Studies from Oxford and a post-graduate diploma in Islamic Studies and Humanities from
the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.

Muntazir’s dissertation titled “To Samarkand, Delhi, and Back to the Mountains: Space, Place, and Belonging in “greater Badakhshan,” ca. 1750-1969,” is a study of ideas about space, place, and religio-political identities in Chitral, a node in the historical “greater Badakhshan” region and a mountainous district in today’s north-western Pakistan, between ca. 1750 and 1969 C.E. It investigates the spatial logic at the core of indigenous, national, and imperial/colonial conceptions of space and representations of the region, their specific configurations, and mutual conversations at distinct points in the history of the region. At the heart of the project is an attempt to imagine alternative forms of sovereignty and belonging, that both destabilize and overflow the imperial and national forms, substantiated through close attention to historical and contemporary representations from and about the region.