Navras Jaat Aafreedi
I focus on Indo-Judaic Studies. I was awarded PhD in 2005 by the Department of Medieval & Modern Indian History, University of Lucknow for my thesis titled Indian Jewry and the Self-Professed Lost Tribes of Israel in India. My academic interests include studies of interfaith relations, mass violence, marginality, antisemitism and microscopic communities. I have given lectures/talks/presentations in Australia, Austria, Canada, India, Israel, Morocco, Switzerland, UK and USA, which have all been well received. Some of my publications have been translated into German, Spanish, French, Russian and Turkish. I am a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar on Holocaust and Genocide Education and was a delegate at the Australia India Youth Dialogue in 2014. I held the first ever Holocaust Films Retrospective in South Asia at the University of Lucknow and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow in 2009 as a Fellow of the Centre for Communication & Development Studies, Pune under its youth outreach programme, Open Space. In February 2012 I co-convened an international seminar on the Marginalised and the Excluded in Society at Gautam Buddha University, Greater NOIDA and in May 2015 I co-convened an international multidisciplinary conference on Mass Violence and Memory at O P Jindal Global University, Sonipat. In February 2017 I convened an international multidisciplinary conference on "Prevention of Mass Violence and Promotion of Tolerance: Lessons from History" at Presidency University, Kolkata. I sit on the editorial boards of the peer reviewed journals: Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies and The Social Ion, on the international advisory board of the Asian Jewish Life and the Jerusalem Press Club, and am referee to the Journal of Studies in History & Culture and the Journal of South Asian Studies. I have also served as External Examiner of MPhil dissertations of the Centre for West Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. One can read more about me on https://sites.google.com/site/aafreedi/home Many of my publications can be accessed here: https://gbu.academia.edu/NAafreedi I can be followed on Twitter @Navras_Aafreedi
- BA Medieval & Modern Indian History, Ancient Indian History & Archaeology, and English Literature (University of Lucknow, 2000)
- MA Medieval & Modern Indian History (University of Lucknow, 2002)
- PhD Medieval & Modern Indian History (University of Lucknow, 2005)
While studying the history of medieval and modern India, I was increasingly attracted towards the history of Jews; the vicissitudes of their struggle for survival; and their singular achievements despite seemingly insuperable difficulties. I realised that the history of Jews in India needed to be researched; and applied myself to the task with great enthusiasm. I hope to continue my study of Indian Jews and the World as a life-long vocation.
Research / Administrative Experience+
- Post-doctorate (History of the Jewish People), Graduate School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University, Israel, 2007 (Supported by a scholarship awarded by the Government of Israel)
- Post-doctorate (Jewish-Muslim Relations in South Asia), Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations, Woolf Institute, Cambridge, UK, 2010 (Supported by a Visiting Fellowship awarded by the Woolf Institute, Cambridge, UK)
- Post-doctorate (Jews of Indian Origin in Australia), Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, University of Sydney, Australia (Supported by Endeavour Research Scholarship awarded by the Government of Australia), 2015
Teaching / Other Experience+
The courses I teach belong to the diverse fields of Indian/South Asian History, Jewish History, Mass Violence/Genocide Studies and Minority Studies.
Post Graduate Supervision+
I am currently supervising a doctoral research on the institutional history of the Archaeological Survey of India, and would be most interested in supervising research, both PhD and MA, in any of the following fields: Indo-Judaic Studies, Interfaith Relations, Genocide Studies, Minority Studies, Diaspora Studies, Antisemtism Studies, etc. Given below are the MA dissertations I have supervised till now:
- Shreya Duta, The Rebel, the State and the People: Self-Determinism, its Nuances and its Challenges in India, 2019
- Anisha Samanta, History of Mughlai Food in India: Tracing the Roots, 2019
- Poulami Basu, A Socio-Cultural Profile of Lucknow, 2019
- Sagarika Sarkar Bose, The Military Masculinity Complex: Hegemonic Masculinity of the British Empire In India, 2018
- Ishwari Mallick, Rohingyas: A Mobile Nation, 2018
- Nidhi Shukla, Chequered Histories and Contested Realities, 2017
- Saema Sarshar, Chronicling the History of Jewish-Muslim Association in Kolkata, 2017
- Swati Dubey, The Baghdadi Jews of Calcutta: A Story of Integration, 2017
- Akshay Saroha, India-Israel Relations since Normalization in 1992, 2016
- Tenzin Yingsel, The Arab Spring, 2015
- Tabassum Ashsraf, The Kashmir Conflict, 2015
- Member of the European Association for South Asian Studies
- Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies (a peer reviewed journal jointly published by Florida International University and the University of Saskatchewan)
- Member of the International Advisory Board of Asian Jewish Life (Hong Kong)
- Honorary Executive Director of the Youth Outreach Programme of the Society for Social Regeneration & Equity (SSRE)
- Member of the National Advisory Board of Asia in Global Affairs (Kolkata), a non-profit, independent forum for research
- Member, Board of Studies in Hebrew, Goa University
- Jews, Judaizing Movements and the Traditions of Israelite Descent in South Asia, Pragati Publications, New Delhi, 2016.
- Indian Jewry and the Self Professed 'Lost Tribes of Israel' in India, Bene Israel Heritage Museum and Genealogical Research Centre, Mumbai, 2006 (CD-ROM).
Publications in Peer-Reviewed Journals
1. “Reciprocal (Mis-)apprehensions: Jews on on-Jews, and Non-Jews on Jews in Indian Fiction, Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies [ISSN 1206-9330], No. 15, 2016, pp. 9-20.
2. “Claimants of Israelite Descent in South Asia”, Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies [ISSN 1206-9330], No. 14, 2014, pp. 97-111.
3. “European Association for South Asian Studies: Panel on Jews at its 23rd Conference for the First Time in its History”, Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies [ISSN 1206-9330], No. 14, 2014, pp. 147-150.
4. “The First Ever Holocaust Films Retrospective in South Asia”, Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies [ISSN 1206-9330], Vol. XI, 2010
5. “Traditions of Israelite Descent Among Certain Muslim Groups in South Asia”, Shofar – An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies [ISSN 0882-8539] (Purdue University publication), Vol. 28, No. 1, 2009, pp. 1-14 [http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/shofar/v028/28.1.aafreedi.pdf]
Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Books with ISBN
“The Tradition of Israelite Descent among the Pashtuns in India and its Contemporary Ramifications.” In Africana Jewish Journeys: Studies in African Judaism, edited by Marla Brettschneider, Edith Bruder and Magdel Le Roux, 202-213. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019. (ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-2213-8) (ISBN-10: 1-5275-2213-X)
“Muslim Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in South Asia: A Case Study of Lucknow.” In Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism and the Dynamics of Delegitimization, edited by Alvin Rosenfeld, 454-480. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019. [ISBN: 978-0-253-03869-2 (cloth), 978-0-253-04002 (paperback), 978-0-253-03872-2 (ebook)]
“Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism among South Asian Muslims.” In Antisemitismus im 21. Jahrhundert: Virulenz einer alten Feindschaft in Zeiten von Islamismus und Terror (Antisemitism in the 21st Century: The Virulence of an Old Hatred in the Era of Islamism and Terrorism), edited by Marc Grimm and Bodo Kahmann, 179-198. Berlin, Munich and Boston: De Gruyter, 2018. (ISBN 978-3-11-053709-3)
“South Asian Muslim Attitudes towards Jews, Israel and Zionism.” In What is Moderate Islam?, edited by Richard Benkin, 191-200. London: Lexington Books, 2017 (ISBN 9781498537414)
“Between Indianness and Jewishness: The Ambivalence of Indian Jews as Reflected in Literature, Cinema and Art.” In Beyond Strategies: Cultural Dynamics in Asian Connections, edited by Priya Singh et al, 69-84. New Delhi: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, in association with KW Publishers Pvt Ltd, 2014 (ISBN 978-93-83649-04-4)
“The Impact of Domestic Politics on India’s Attitudes towards Israel and Jews.” In Perspectives on West Asia: The Evolving Geopolitical Discourses, edited by Priya Singh and Susmita Bhattacharya, 171-183. India: Shipra Publications, 2012 (ISBN: 9788175416376)
1. “Jewish-Muslim Relations in South Asia”, in Kassam, Zayn, Yudith K Greenberg, and Jehan Bagli, eds, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, Springer 2018 (ISBN 978-94-024-1266-6) as part of the series, Arvind Sharma, ed., Encyclopedia of Indian Religions, Springer, 2018 (ISBN 978-94-007-1988-0)
2. “The Traditions of Israelite Origins of Pathan/Pashtun Tribes”, in in Kassam, Zayn, Yudith K Greenberg, and Jehan Bagli, eds, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, Springer 2018 (ISBN 978-94-024-1266-6) as part of the series, Arvind Sharma, ed., Encyclopedia of Indian Religions, Springer, 2018 (ISBN 978-94-007-1988-0)
· A special issue titled “Hatred and Mass Violence: Lessons from History” of the online magazine Café Dissensus [ISSN 2373-177X] (Issue 49: February 2019): https://cafedissensus.com/2019/02/24/contents-hatred-and-mass-violence-lessons-from-history-issue-49/
· A special issue titled “India’s Response to the Holocaust and its Perception of Hitler” of the online magazine Café Dissensus [ISSN 2373-177X] (Issue 21: January 2017): https://cafedissensus.com/2017/01/20/contents-indias-response-to-the-holocaust-and-its-perception-of-hitler-issue-31/
· A special issue, titled “Jewish-Muslim Relations in South Asia” of the online magazine Café Dissensus [ISSN 2373-177X] (Issue 21: January 2016): http://cafedissensus.com/2016/01/08/contents-jewish-muslim-relations-in-south-asia-issue-21/
· A special issue, titled “Indian Jewry” of the online magazine Café Dissensus [ISSN 2373-177X] (Issue 12: January 2015): http://cafedissensus.com/2014/12/31/contents-the-indian-jewry-issue-12/