Samia Khatun, a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne, who is currently researching a 400-year history of textile workers in Bengal, spanning from Mughal India to contemporary Bangladesh, will deliver a public lecture on the topic of “The Camel and the Prophecy“, on Wednesday 16 April.
Prophecy has been a recurring element of Muslim political expression since the revelation of the Quran to Muhammed in 610 CE. Across South Asia, Muslim prophetic speech had a dynamic relationship to the rise of the British empire and by the late 19th century Muslim seers were engaging in a global conversation through the medium of print.
From 1860 CE, as prosperous merchants from British India and Afghanistan dispatched camels accompanied by South Asian workers to Australian deserts, prophetic narratives began to circulate through the English language newspapers of settler colonies increasingly hostile to non-white merchants and workers.
This presentation examines how Muslim merchants and workers deployed prophecies to respond to the changing fortunes of the camel industry and protest the emergence of ‘White Australia’ on a global stage.
Samia is currently finishing her book Camels, Ships and Trains: Connecting Histories from South Asia to Australia, which tells the history of a transportation network from the perspectives of South Asian and Aboriginal travellers.
To register visit: http://events.unimelb.edu.au/events/3830-the-camel-and-the-prophecy