In her pioneering and politically urgent new book Delusional States: Feeling Rule and Development in Pakistan’s Northern Frontier
(Cambridge UP, 2019), Nosheen Ali
presents a lyrical and at many times haunting account of the aspirations, anxieties, and tragedies enfolding everyday life in the rarely studied Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan. How does the encounter and interplay of love and betrayal inform the relationship between the state and its aspiring citizens? Ali engages and extends this foundational political and conceptual question in a range of discursive sites including the affective dimensions of militarization and state power, sectarianism and education, poetic publics and their alternate imaginaries of Islam and Muslim identity, and the agonistic operations of environmental development on everyday pastoral life. Written with exceptional clarity and extraordinary poetic panache, Delusional States is a landmark publication in the study of Islam, South Asia, Pakistan, and politics that should spark several important and far reaching discussions and debates in the academy and beyond. It will also make a terrific text for undergraduate and graduate seminars on these and many other themes.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at email@example.com. Listener feedback is most welcome.