Ute Falasch - CEU Humanities Initiative Religious Studies Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, 2017-2019

Ute Falasch

CEU Humanities Initiative Religious Studies Post-doctoral Research Fellowship 2017-2019

Dr. Ute Falasch currently is Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Religious Studies at Central European University. She graduated in South Asian Studies and Islamic Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she received both her M.A. and Ph.D. degree. She also studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi Medieval Indian History. In her Ph.D. thesis Dr. Falasch focused on the Madāriyya, a South Asian Sufi brotherhood using an interdisciplinary approach that combined a multi-sited anthropological fieldwork with the historical approach based on sources. Her findings brought significant new insights to the study of wandering groups of Sufis in South Asia. Dr. Falasch taught three years at the Institute of Indology and Central Asian Studies at Leipzig University undergraduate and graduate courses in the field of History and Culture of South Asia as well as languages. Among her courses were the following: Religious Identities and their potential for conflict; Social and Economic Pluralities in Post-liberalised India as well as Hindi and Urdu literature on the Partition of India from Indian and Pakistani perspectives. Prior to this, she was a research fellow in the joint-project Dialogue(s) with Islam(s) in European and South Asian Perspectives, a cooperation between University of Erfurt, Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Her research revolved around new developments concerning the Muslim Personal Law in India. Dr. Falasch’s research interest is centered on the religious and social history of Muslim South Asia. She is the author of the monograph Heiligkeit und Mobilität. Die Madāriyya Sufibruderschaft und ihr Gründer Badīʿ al-Dīn Shāh Madār in Indien, 15. - 19. Jahrhundert (2015). In her article “Regulating Rapture: The malang in the Madāriyya” (2012), she discussed the impact of the changes brought by the British East India Company on the forms of piety of wandering groups of Sufis and Hindu ascetics and their ways of resistance to the colonial project in 18th century Bengal. Expressions of spiritual authority were the focal point of her latest article, “Negotiating Religious Authority at a Shrine Inhabited by a Living Saint: The dargāh of “Zinda” Shāh Madār” (2016). In her current research project on religious and political authority in North India in the 15th and 16th cent. she analyzes the interaction between Sufis and regional rulers regarding discourses on legitimate rule as well as the ways of negotiating faith and reason in that period.