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Samira Sheikh

Associate Professor of History

Samira Sheikh is a historian of South Asia. Her research interests include politics and religion in South Asia from 1200-1950, early modern trade, and early Indian maps. She is the author of Forging a Region: Sultans, Traders and Pilgrims in Gujarat, 1200-1500 (Oxford India, 2010), and co-editor of After Timur Left (Oxford India, 2014), and An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi'i Vision of Islam (I.B. Tauris and the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2008).

Sheikh came to Vanderbilt from London where she was a research associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies. She is finishing up a book on the city of Bharuch in western India in the eighteenth century. As the East India Company’s power expanded and the Mughal empire grew ever more remote, people in Bharuch adapted to new realities. The book brings to life the travails of individuals caught in a rapidly transforming world while showing how traces of those who experienced early colonialism have been obscured by subsequent politics.

Her next project, supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, is to document and analyze Gujarati maps from the eighteenth century. She is a member of the editorial collective of the Medieval History Journal and serves on the advisory board of Modern Asian Studies. Some of her research may be found on