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Department ofReligious Studies

Stories

Daniel Morgan, South Asian Languages/Civilizations/History Scholar Joins RS Department

Daniel Jacobius Morgan received his BA from the University of Oxford in 2008. After graduation he spent three years working as a consultant in Dubai, and journalist in London and Lahore. During this period, he served as the Pakistan correspondent for Monocle magazine and a staff writer for Newsweek Pakistan, covering politics and human rights. In 2012, he held a research post at Gateway House in Mumbai, working on the relationship between Islamism and democracy in South Asia and the Muslim world more broadly. He received an MPhil with distinction from the University of Oxford in 2013, with a dissertation on the thought of the anti-colonial Marxist revolutionary and Islamic scholar ‘Ubaidullah Sindhi.

He began his doctorate in the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2013. In the academic year 2018-19, he received the Metcalf Fellowship in Indian History from the American Institute of Indian Studies and spent ten months working with eighteenth-century Persian manuscripts in libraries and madrasas across India. He received his PhD in 2020 with a dissertation that examines the applied metaphysics and embodied devotional practices of the eminent eighteenth-century Islamic scholar and mystical philosopher, Shāh Walī Allāh Dihlawī.

As well as teaching a number of courses on Islam and South Asian history at the University of Chicago, he spent a semester teaching Hindi and Urdu at Loyola University Chicago. He is excited to introduce students at Santa Clara to the rich diversity of Islamic scholarly and mystical traditions (and, hopefully, showing them how to make their own ink and manuscripts).

An intellectual and social historian of early modern Islam, Daniel’s work primarily focuses on the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqah and questions of Islamic reform in South Asia. He works with sources in multiple languages but specializes in Indo-Persian, Arabic and Urdu. He is also an assistant editor for the Journal of South Asian Intellectual History.

Other than academic work, he enjoys literary translation and his co-translation with his wife Cathleen of a story by the Hindi writer Sonrexa will (fingers crossed) appear in print in 2021. Daniel is also an avid collector of late 19th- and early 20th-century Urdu and Persian lithographic books and journals (and spends much of his time trying to stop his dog Charlotte and baby Uma from using them as chew toys).