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We focus on the deep historical ties between the many and varied cultures, religions, literatures, and languages of the Middle East and South Asia

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Ghalib: A Wilderness at My Doorstep: A Critical Biography

Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was born in Agra in the closing years of the eighteenth century. A precocious child, he began composing verses at an early age and gained recognition while he was still very young. He wrote in both Urdu and Persian and was also a great prose stylist. He was a careful, even strict, editor of his work who took to publishing long before his peers. His predilection for writing difficult, obscure poetry peppered with complex metaphors produced a unique commentarial tradition that did not extend beyond his work.

Professor Huekstedt's Session at Jaipur Literature Festival

Writer and independent filmmaker Uday Prakash has been described as ‘one of India’s most original and audacious writers’. A major voice in contemporary Hindi literature, his themes focus on the human and political contradictions of modern India. Academic Robert Hueckstedt has translated Prakash's short stories into English as 'Rage Revelry and Romance' and 'Short Shorts Long Shots'. Writer and translator Jason Grunebaum has translated much of Prakash’s work into English, including 'The Girl with the Golden Parasol' and 'The Walls of Delhi'.


My [MESALC]major really expanded my worldview, and the fact that it was an interdisciplinary major gave me the facility to look at any particular topic in multiple ways, which I think is incredibly helpful for actors. There are parts of acting where you have to learn about the history of something, the culture you’re in, and how people communicate. I think it has influenced how I approach my acting work.”   

MESALC Statement on Anti-Racism

MESALC joins President Ryan, Dean Baucom and other UVA departments and programs in most strongly condemning and unequivocally denouncing systematic racism that has been manifested most recently in the heartless and brutal killings of innocent black people. MESALC most vocally rejects all forms of marginalization, biases, harassments, exploitations, and targeted violence nationally and internationally. Our department stands united with our students, staff, colleagues, and community against all forms of racism, inequities, injustices, and brutalities.


Translating Wisdom

During the height of Muslim power in Mughal South Asia, Hindu and Muslim scholars worked collaboratively to translate a large body of Hindu Sanskrit texts into the Persian language. Translating Wisdom reconstructs the intellectual processes and exchanges that underlay these translations.


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News & Announcements

Jaipur Literature Festival 2021: Mehr Farooqi discusses her new biography of Ghalib, and the challenges of translation
March 1, 2021
'Farewell Father': Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's Daughter Remembers the Legendary Urdu Critic
January 4, 2021
MESALC's Photo Gallery of Events 2019-20
December 2, 2020
Professor Huekstedt's Session at Jaipur Literature Festival
October 26, 2020
Professor Al-Samman's interview with Jadaliyya regarding the publication of Anxiety of Erasure
September 30, 2020