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Abraham Akhter Murad
Teaching Fellow, Department of Governance and Global Studies
MRes – History, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
RESEARCH INTERESTS

Colonial Punjab, History of Christianity in northwest India and Pakistan, Caste, Majoritarianism in contemporary history and politics, Education

biography

Abraham Akhter Murad is an academic researcher in the history of North India and Pakistan in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is a core member of the Centre for Governance and Policy, Lahore, Pakistan where he co-founded and helps arrange Pakistan’s largest academic literary festival, Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest (https://afkaretazathinkfest.com/). He is also a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Governance and Global Studies, Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan.

With a special focus on the ‘Punjab and its Feudatories,’ Mr. Murad’s work looks at the agrarian and social histories of the region as it transformed through colonial and transnational missionary networks. He has for some years now been researching the late nineteenth and twentieth century life, work and legacy of American Presbyterian missionaries and their role in the creation of institutional networks of education and medical practice in colonial north India as well as the creation and consolidation of a Christian community in the Punjab region.

In the last two years, he expanded his research to trace how colonial intervention reorganized Punjab and, in turn, influenced how group identities and politics was negotiated and formulated by non-caste groups referred to as ‘outcastes’/’untouchables’. For this he has consulted various colonial and missionary archives in Pakistan, USA, and the United Kingdom in the English, Urdu, and Punjabi languages and presented his preliminary findings at international conferences. A part of this work has culminated in the form of a 40,000-word Master by Research dissertation at Royal Holloway, University of London (2020) which he was awarded without corrections. He was supervised by the distinguished Professor Francis C. R. Robinson CBE, DL.

Mr. Murad holds a B.Sc. (Hons) from Forman Christian College where he read Biotechnology, Education and Philosophy. He was formerly a Research Associate on a British Library funded grant on Christian missionary activity and Inter-religious dialogue in British Punjab (1849-1947) in the Department of History, Forman Christian College, from December 2013 to April 2015.

Mr. Murad has presented his research at the Indian History Congress at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India (2014), at the Second and Third South Asian History Conferences at Punjabi University, Patiala, India (2014 and 2015), at the Andrew Walls Centre for the study of African and Asian Christianity at the Liverpool Hope University, England (2015), at the 25th International Pakistan History Conference, University of Karachi and Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan (2016), at the Yale-Edinburgh Group meeting at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2016), at the 21st Asian Studies Association of Australia Biennial Conference at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (2016), at the International Association for Mission Studies’ Annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea (2016), at the International Conference of Historians of Asia at the National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan (2016), at the Yale-Edinburgh Group meeting at Yale University, USA (2017), at the 16th Annual South Asia Graduate Student Conference at the University of Chicago, USA (2019), at the Pakistan Seminar, Keble College, University of Oxford, UK (2019), at the International Conference of the Punjab Research Group (organised in collaboration with South Asia Research Cluster, Wolfson College), University of Oxford, UK (2019), at the Mission and Modernity Research Academy, KU Leuven, Belgium (2021), and at the Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University, USA (2021).

Mr. Murad has been a part of a project on the history of colonial North India’s first college built in the nineteenth century namely Lahore Mission College now Forman Christian College (A Chartered University). He has also been a teaching assistant for Pakistan Studies at the Information Technology University in Lahore for Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Fall 2017.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article
  • Murad, Abraham Akhter, ‘Colonial Transformation and the Marginalisation of the Chuhras in Late Nineteenth century Punjab.’ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. (Revise and Resubmit)
  • Murad, Abraham Akhter, ‘Winners and Losers in Late Nineteenth Century Punjab: The Role of Colonial Imagination.’ Indian Economic and Social History Review. (Under Review)
  • Murad, Abraham Akhter, ‘Reframing Identity: The Chuhras in Rural Punjab, 1849-1900.’ Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. (Under Review)
Chapter in an Edited Book
  • Murad, Abraham Akhter, ‘Pakistan for Christ: Missionaries and a Muslim Vision.’ (In preparation for the Mission and Modernity Research Academy (KU Leuven) organised edited volume by Leuven University Press)
Policy Report 
  • Murad, Abraham Akhter, ‘Towards an Inclusive Education in Pakistan: A Fact-Finding Report on Attainment Gap in Christian-run Schools in Punjab’ (In Preparation for the Centre for Social Justice, Institute of Social and Policy Sciences, and the Department for International Development)
Academic Blog, Newspaper, Media Commentary, Public Engagement
  • “Minorities Proposal for Educational Policy 2021”, Consultation meeting between Pakistan Government Ministries, Educational Boards, Bishops and Church Leaders, Centre for Social Justice, Islamabad, Pakistan, February 8, 2021.
  • “2020 Educational Attainment Gap amongst Minority Christian Students in Punjab”, National Conference on Minorities and Education System: Challenges and Prospects, Centre for Social Justice, Islamabad, Pakistan, January 15, 2021. https://fb.watch/3rp1723OM7/
  • In conversation with Professor Antony G. Hopkins, University of Cambridge on his book: American Empire: A Global History, https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=315952626320584, September 3, 2020.
  • In conversation with Professor Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge on her book: Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=287277082603255&ref=watch_permalink, August 6, 2020.
  • Organised, edited and introduced a Book Roundtable around From the Ashes of 1947: Reimagining Punjab by Pippa Virdee for chapatimystery.com.
The forthcoming Roundtable has articles from:
  • Emily Keightley, Professor of Media and Memory Studies, Department of Communication and Media, Loughborough University
  • Uttara Shahani, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
  • Manav Kapur, PhD Candidate, Department of History, Princeton University
This is followed by a response article by the author of the book.

  1. Winner of the competitive 2021 Humane Studies Fellowship, Institute for Humane Studies, February 2021.
  2. Winner of the SLG Charitable Trust Grant for Research, November 2020.
  3. Travel and stay grant at the Mission and Modernity Research Academy, KU Leuven, Belgium, November, 2021.
  4. Winner of the competitive Estella Canziani Post-Graduate Bursary for Research, The Folklore Society, July 2020.
  5. Travel and stay grant at the Sixteenth Annual South Asia Graduate Student Conference, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA, March, 2019.
  6. Pride of Performance Award and double salary bonus by Information Technology University for outstanding contribution to the University through my organising work for Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest, March 2018.
  7. Travel and stay grant at the 14th Assembly of the International Association for Mission Studies, Seoul, South Korea, August, 2016.
  8. Stay grant at the 25th International Pakistan History Conference, University of Karachi and Hamdard University, Pakistan, January, 2016.
  9. Stay Grant at the 3rd South Asian History Conference, Punjabi University, Patiala, India, October, 2015.
  10. Stay Grant at the 75th Session of the Indian History Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, December, 2014.
  11. Travel and Stay Grant at the 2nd South Asian History Conference, Punjabi University, Patiala, India, October, 2014.
  12. Services Award by Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), 2012.
  13. Core Values Award by Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), 2012.

Membership of Professional Organizations
  1. American Academy of Religion
  2. Regional Studies Association
  3. Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity
  4. International Association for Mission Studies