Singing Islam: Sufi Music and Socio-religious Change on India’s Western Border


ACLS Fellowship Program



Named Award

ACLS Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow named award


The parallel projects of Hindu nationalism and Islamic reform have resulted in the increasing polarization of Hindus and Muslims in contemporary India. My monograph project analyzes the ways in which the history and contemporary practice of Sindhi-language Sufi music in Kachchh, Gujarat (western India) are intertwined with the socio-religious transformations that have taken place in this borderland region since the late 1970s. Foregrounding the emotional dimensions of Sufi sung poetry performance, this ethnography examines the use of Sufi music as an affective means of transmitting religious and ethical teachings in rural Muslim communities, as well as the ways in which Sufi musical practice historically constituted a space of positive interreligious sociality in Kachchh.