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Sufi heritage in Sindh: Discourse, Representation and Performance

Author Rafique WASSAN
Director of thesis Prof Dr Britta Sweers, Professor of Cultural Anthropology of Music, at the Institute of Musicology, University of Bern
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

My interdisciplinary doctoral research study project investigates and analyses the cultural production of the intellectual and socially engaged Sufi heritage discourse, practice and performance in Sindh, Pakistan. Methodologically, the interdisciplinary nature and scope of the project is grounded into the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, ethnomusicology and critical heritage studies.


In the post-independence, contemporary socio-political context of Pakistan, I endeavour to explore and analyse the political and cultural context of Sindhi Sufi heritage identity discourse and performance tradition aimed at infusing the pluralist, humanist values of tolerance, interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence. I analyse the progressive cultural activist use of Sindhi Sufi cultural identity narrative, practice and performance in the backdrop of the rise of religious radicalism, violence and extremism in recent years in Pakistan.


My study engages with the analysis of Sufi cultural production in the form of discourse, performance, literature and institutions in Sindh and how it is actively used as progressive cultural narrative in the public sphere by different cultural actors, writers, artists and performers as an instrument of anti-radicalisation, peace promotion and social harmony.


Based on the conceptual notions of cultural politics of progressive literature, critical heritage, alternative discourse and performance practices, my doctoral study project contributes to the analysis of socially engaged, critical, transformative role of heritage and cultural forms of knowledge in the progressive and pluralistic identity construction for the promotion of the transcultural values of tolerance, peace, human freedom and social justice.


Status on-going
Administrative delay for the defence 2018
URL http://www.gsh.unibe.ch/doctoral_programs/interdisciplinary_cultural_studies_ics
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