Dr. Soheb Niazi is a historian whose area of expertise is the social history of modern India. He is particularly interested in studying the history of non-elite Muslim actors in South Asia and to understand the formation of caste and class relations among them. He has been a Doctoral Fellow at the Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies since 2016 and defended his Ph.D. dissertation with a Magna Cum Laude at the Department of History and Culture Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. His dissertation was titled, “Social Stratification of Muslims at a Qasbāh in Colonial North India: The Production and Contestation of Social Hierarchy at Amroha (1878-1934).”

In his Ph.D. research, he historicizes the debates on the social hierarchy among Muslims in colonial India by exploring the polemical debate on genealogy and descent that took place among the saiyids (descendants of the Prophet) and the qaṣṣābs (butchers and hide traders) of Amroha in the Rohilkhand region of the United Provinces. He has recently published an article on vernacular Urdu tarīkh texts from Amroha and the genealogies deployed by the saiyid Muslims in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society as part of a special issue. Currently, he is developing a post-doc project on the social hierarchies within the meat, hides, and leather industries in colonial India.

Selected publications:

Book Reviews:

  • Soheb Niazi, 2022. Making a Muslim: Reading Publics and Contesting Identities in Nineteenth-Century North India by S. Akbar Zaidi, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol LVII, No. 22.
  • Soheb Niazi, 2021. Defending Muhammad in Modernity by Sherali Tareen.
  • Soheb Niazi, 2020. The Cambridge Companion to Sayyid Ahmad Khan edited by Yasmin Saikia and M. Raisur Rahman, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 55, No.11.

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