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Lecture | Annual Leiden Terra Incognita Lecture

Manifesting Minutes and Mapping Cosmographies: Time and Place in Early Modern Deccan

Wednesday 6 December 2023
Leiden Terra Incognita Lecture
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

The fourth Leiden Terra Incognita Lecture in Colonial and Global History.

Introduction: Dr. Lennart Bes (LU)
Discussants: Dr. Liana Saif (UvA) and Dr. Gijs Kruijtzer (independent scholar).

In this lecture, Dr. Flatt investigates how time and place have been conceptualized in writings produced in the sultanate of Bijapur. She will discuss how understandings of time were connected to cosmological beliefs, geographical concepts, and esoteric practices. Drawing on her ongoing work on the sixteenth-century cosmological compendium, the Nujūm al-ʿUlūm (The Stars of the Sciences), she will examine ideas about the malleable and manifest nature of time, and the manipulation of time, direction and geographic location in various esoteric practices and their connection to the articulation of kingship and dominion.

Associate Professor Emma Flatt (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)


Emma Flatt is an Associate Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where she teaches classes on South Asia, the Islamic world, gender and religion. Her research work focuses on the social and cultural history of medieval and early modern India. She is the author of The Courts Of The Deccan Sultanates: Living Well In The Persian Cosmopolis, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019); the co-author (with Daud Ali) of Garden and Landscape Practices in Precolonial India: Histories from the Deccan, (Delhi: Routledge, 2011), and has written various
journal articles on the histories of astrology, wrestling, magic, friendship and perfumes.


On Thursday, 7 December Dr Flatt will also teach a Masterclass about “Unconventional Textual Sources” which discusses materials from premodern India (in translation) to illustrate how unexpected sources (e.g. perfume treatises, writing manuals, astrological compendiums) can yield historical insights and help us write new types of histories. The Masterclass is meant for graduate (R)MA, PhD students and interested Postdoctoral Researchers.
For more information and registration, see the masterclass event page.


Registration is not needed for this lecture or location. However do please carry your LU-card with you within all university locations.

Terra Incognita Lecture

The Leiden Terra Incognita Lecture is an annual lecture organized by the research group Colonial and Global History (COGLO) of the Institute for History at Leiden University and has the aim to explore the historiographical frontiers of the field of colonial and global history. The previous Terra Incognita speakers were Pekka Hämäläinen (2019), Cyrus Schayegh (2021) and Kapil Raj (2022). The Terra Incognita Lecture for 2024 (December) will be delivered by Ruth Bush (University of Bristol).

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