Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey

Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey

by Samia Khatun


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Australian deserts remain dotted with the ruins of old mosques. Beginning with a Bengali poetry collection discovered in a nineteenth-century mosque in the town of Broken Hill, Samia Khatun weaves together the stories of various peoples colonized by the British Empire to chart a history of South Asian diaspora.
Australia has long been an outpost of Anglo empires in the Indian Ocean world, today the site of military infrastructure central to the surveillance of 'Muslim-majority' countries across the region. Imperial knowledges from Australian territories contribute significantly to the Islamic-Western binary of the post- Cold War era. In narrating a history of Indian Ocean connections from the perspectives of those colonized by the British, Khatun highlights alternative contexts against which to consider accounts of non-white people.
Australianama challenges a central idea that powerfully shapes history books across the Anglophone world: the colonial myth that European knowledge traditions are superior to the epistemologies of the colonized. Arguing that Aboriginal and South Asian language sources are keys to the vast, complex libraries that belie colonized geographies, Khatun shows that stories in colonized tongues can transform the very ground from which we view past, present and future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190922603
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/15/2019
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Samia Khatun is a historian because she once lost her way to a mathematics lecture. Since then, she has chased truths about the past in Sydney, Antigua, Kolkata, Istanbul, Berlin, New York, Dunedin, Melbourne, London and Dhaka. Her documentaries have screened on ABC and SBS-TV in Australia. She has recently been appointed Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Table of Contents

Prologue The Melting Quran
Chapter One: The Book of Books
Chapter Two: Stories of the Prophets
Chapter Three: Seven Voyages of Khawaja Muhammad Bux
Chapter Four: The Train at Beltana
Chapter Five: The Camel and the Prophecy
Chapter Six: The Book of Sand
Chapter Seven: The Book of Marriage
Chapter Eight: The Hearer


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