Shifting Grounds: The Search for a School Site in a Divided City, 1943-1948

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Seminar Date
May 28, 2014
In the 1940s, a group of trustees and members of an association called the Orient Islamic Educational Institute were preoccupied with locating a building site to accommodate a boarding school in Durban. Modeled after the Muhammendan Anglo-Orient College at Aligarh, the ‘Oxford of India’, the envisioned school would combine a religious syllabus with secular learning for Muslim children in Natal. In pursuit of professional opportunities and civic recognition for Muslims (and Indians more generally), these founders were compelled to negotiate a range of challenges in a changing political climate. Based on a book chapter for a current research project, this seminar will explore the politics of urban space during a period of wartime race populism that revolved around white fears of ‘Indian penetration’.
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