The Māḥauls of Oratory: Urdu Shiʿi Khiṭābat in Contemporary Karachi

When and Where

Thursday, March 28, 2024 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm


Mohammad Nabeel Jafri (University of Toronto)



In this talk, Mohammad Nabeel Jafri attends to the material and the historical māḥauls within which Urdu Shiʿi khiṭābat (oratory) unfolds in Karachi. His attention to these contexts aims to move beyond a solely discursive approach to public language-use, in which much of the emphasis lies on referentiality, or what orations mean. Instead, Mohammad Nabeel Jafri foregrounds the physical and ideological contexts of khiṭābat to lay bare the newness of practices and concepts that undergird oratorical speech-events.


Mohammad Nabeel Jafri is a PhD candidate at the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. His doctoral research is funded by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada. His dissertation focuses on Urdu Shiʿi oratory (khiṭābat) in contemporary Karachi. He is broadly interested in scholarship on semiotics, ritual practice, authority, and language use

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Muslim Materialities Lecture Series, Department of Historical Studies at UTM