MA dissertation: Hurs and the Historiography of Sindh

Abdul Haque Chang, The Issue of Hur: Representation in the Historiography of Sindh, MA thesis in Cultural Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin, 2010.

“This thesis aimed at understanding how certain narratives about the Hurs of Sindh generated by British colonial administers have become dominant tropes of the Hur identity and representation. However, the present study sought to question established assumptions and argue that the British construction of Hur identity has also been accepted uncritically by Sindhi historians, writers, nationalist as well as scholars trained in western academic discourses. Two novel are presented here – one by H. T Lambrick The Terrorist (1972) and another by Muhammad Usman Deplai, Sanghar (1963) – in order to show how both authors have articulated the Hur identity in a particular way and how these writings became later standard texts to write fictional and non-fictional narratives of the Hurs. The thesis also argues that some trends that have emerged recently to salvage the Hur history and re-write it from a Sindhi nationalist perspective, should also be subjected to critical questioning. Different genres of writing are discussed here to show that within Sindh different scholars and literary traditions exist, that are embedded in modernism, nationalism, and the Marxist tradition, and take different positions on modernity, development and social change. The thesis is concluded with the argument that the issue of Hur representation needs to be studied within the broader perspective of representation and history of Sindh, by bringing in oral narratives, public memory, Subaltern Hur voice and by critically examining dominant and alternative Hur narratives.”


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