CMEMS Workshop Talk by Taymiya Zaman
This talk is about how historians might investigate parallels between the pre-colonial pasts of South Asia and Latin American while attuning themselves to both timelessness and change. Building on recent work that argues that India and Mexico were both conquered and yet could never be conquered, this talk explores how change itself has unchanging essence embedded within it. Despite the armies and historical narratives that might seek to conquer Mexico City, there is something about the city that we recognize as unchanging essence; Mexico City may change, but it cannot change into Karachi. I navigate the paradox of time and change by drawing on my own experiences as a Mughal historian living in Mexico City. Three talismans hold the paradox of time and the timeless: The feel of the vanished lake that haunts Mexico City, the act of learning Spanish, and the way bougainvillea evokes a map of colonial encounters.
Taymiya R. Zaman is Associate Professor of History at the University of San Francisco.