Abraham Akhter Murad is an academic researcher in the social 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/).
Mr. Murad is currently pursuing a doctorate in the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford as the Oxford-Vincent Packford Geoffrey Smart Graduate Scholar under the supervision of the distinguished historian, Professor Faisal Devji. He is also the Bernard Marcus Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University, USA (non-resident fellowship). He is also the 2022-3 Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Scholar for the Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs.
He is presently on leave from being a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Governance and Global Studies, Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan. He was formerly a DAAD Visiting Fellow at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany.
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. In the last few 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/Dalit groups. 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. The dissertation was also shortlisted for the 2021 British Association of South Asian Studies' MA Dissertation Prize. He was supervised by the distinguished historian, 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 is helping write 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.
For the seventh issue of CM Roundtable (CMRT), we are delighted to host a conversation on Pippa Virdee’s From the Ashes of 1947: Reimagining Punjab. The CMRT is a series that presents multiple, in-depth reviews of an exciting new book. We thank each of our distinguished panelists for engaging in this public dialogue. We especially thank Abraham Akhter Murad for convening and introducing this Round Table.