• Faculty Fellows
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar

Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar

Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar is an associate professor of History at Brown. At the Swearer Center, she will be working with the Engaged Scholars program and leading a learning community on displacement and migration.

Zamindar is a historian of modern South Asia, with an interest in twentieth-century histories of decolonization, displacement, war, non-violence, the visual archive, and contemporary art. Her book, "The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories" (Columbia University Press, 2007) brought together histories of decolonization, genocide, mass displacement, border-making and postcolonial nation-state formation at the heart of the twentieth century, and she has been teaching a number of courses over the last decade at Brown on these themes. This includes an introductory survey lecture course entitled "Refugees: A Twentieth Century History," and she has been commissioned to write a book of the same title. While minorities and refugees remain enduring concerns, she is presently completing a book on art and war on the northwest frontier of British India, on the borderlands with Afghanistan.

She directed the South Asian Studies Program from 2012-2016, organized the South Asia Documentary Film Festival in 2011, the Brown-Harvard Pakistani Film Festivals in 2014 and 2015 (from which the book "Love, War and Other Longings" is forthcoming this year) and continues to run the inter-disciplinary "Theory from the South" reading group, as "Art History from the South" since 2018.

She has been committed to engaged pedagogy and has experimented over a decade with different forms of classroom practices. This has included the seminar "Gandhi's Way," where students had to undertake a series of Gandhian experiments (offered this fall as "Civil Disobedience: A Historical Guide to Action"), to co-teaching "Decolonizing Minds: A People's History of the World" where students worked collaboratively to transform historical and political concepts and arguments into public interventions (see website).

With a commitment to public engagement, she has been involved in organizing teach-ins on campus and has worked with Primary Source and the Choices program, FirstWorks Providence, the RISD Museum, as well as the Lahore Museum. She has appeared on Christopher Lydon's Open Source Radio and the BBC Radio series Museum of Lost Objects, and her articles have appeared in the Third Text Online, Times of India, The News, Dawn, Time Out Delhi, Caravan, Current History, and The Wire.