Tagged: Early Modern

Hanafi Law and Urbanization in Mughal India

Hanafi law, one of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence, which was widely practiced in the Ottoman Empire, was also the imperial legal system of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857) in South Asia. Hanafi law governed property rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the rural and the urban spheres of the Mughal Empire. Unfortunately, research on Hanafi law in Mughal India, in its theoretical and practical perspectives, remains virtually inexistant in current historiography. In this blogpost, I sketch the salient features of the relation between law and Mughal urban practices.

Changing Religious and City Images of Goa under the Habsburgs (1580-1640)

Pius Malekandathil on how the city branding of Goa changed with Hapsburg rule in the 16th and 17th century. The Hapsburgs resorted to different mechanisms during this period to mask the internal contradictions within the city and to fill up the “hollowness” of the urban enclave of Goa and to prevent the Portuguese and Luso-Indians from moving away from the power centre of Goa to other enclaves. The fabrication and circulation of pride-evoking epithets like “Goa Dourada“ (Golden Goa) and religious metaphorical usages like “Rome of the East”, and the creation of ‘relic-loving’ devotees within the city were some of the mechanisms sought by the Hapsburgs not only to camouflage the harsh urban reality of Goa, but also to give a positive, if inflated, imagery of the city.

2023 Annual Conference: Ambivalences of Religion

Aiming at sharpening a heuristic grid for the study of the mutual formation of religion and urbanity, the focus of the conference lies with concepts of religion that address material, socio-spatial, temporal, and power-related issues with a view on religious complexity in general and religious ambivalences in particular. The ultimate aim is to better grasp the entanglement between religion and urbanity and the ways urban and religious practices and ideas can change through the interferences of these internal tensions.

Lecture Series: Urban Governance and Civic Participation in Words and Stone

Susanne Rau, one of the spokespersons of the KFG, and our former fellows Zoë Opačić and Katalin Szende have organised a lecture series of renowned speakers, who will trace the origins of civic participation in political thought and explore its forms of expression in written and visual media from Late Antiquity to the seventeenth century…

Religion and Urbanity in Hell? A Satirical Description of London from 1729

When we think of London today, we might think of the many opportunities this provides. A global and cosmopolitan metropolis, that has much to offer to people from all walks of life: tourists come to marvel at Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, people looking for work relocate to the capital to work in business or media and artists hope to find new inspiration and audiences in one of the most important cities of Europe…

A Very Urban Space: Munich’s Old Northern Cemetery

During my recent stay in Munich, I was also able to visit some urban cemeteries in Munich. As part of my project on the urban dead in Munich and London, I am also interested in the positioning, uses and meanings of cemeteries and so it is always helpful to visit them and get an overview of the spaces that still exist…

Walking through the streets of Calicut (III)

It’s been a while since I wrote about Calicut. Since my departure at the end of March I haven’t returned to India. Until further notice, my research visa is still suspended. But the situation is now also completely different than in March…

Archival Work During Corona

Over the past two months, I spent two stints of two weeks in Munich, researching my project on urban burials in London and Munich, c. 1520 to 1870. While it is still difficult (and not particularly safe) to travel from Germany to England, I decided to focus on Munich

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