PSW: Mana Kia

PSW is pleased to welcome Mana Kia (Columbia U), who will be workshopping a paper titled “Historicizing Origins between Iran and India” on Monday, February 19, 5:00-7:00 PM in room 1185 North Quad. Kia’s paper is part of a longer chapter on the meaning of origins in her forthcoming book on transregional Persianate sensibilities of belonging before nationalism. Origins were narratives posed as answering the question of who a person was and what it meant in the world. Origins were told and understood in terms of lineages that were far more capaciously conceptualized than as a single place or natal lineage. The lineages of origin that mattered included those of service, learning, aesthetics, and practice. As such, they demand a historicized rethinking of the terms of meaningful connection, calling into question modern analytic conceptions of ethnicity and kinship.

Kia is Assistant Professor of Indo-Persian Studies in the Department of Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia. Her expertise lies in the connected socio-cultural and intellectual histories of West, Central, and South Asia from the 17th-19th centuries, particularly with respect to Indo-Persian literary culture and social history.

Please email Marian Smith ( to receive a copy of Kia’s paper in advance. Delectable light refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you there!