Fatima Mojaddedi

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

California, Davis, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10378

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Mojaddedi, Fatima (California, Davis, U. of) "Shelter for the Night: Language and Discontent in Afghanistan"

Shelter for the Night: Language and Discontent in Afghanistan undertakes an analysis of contemporary social and linguistic life in Afghanistan and offers an understanding of 19th-20th century archival legacies and their bearing on new forms of social violence. Committed to articulating a perspective on life, and discourses of global instability from Afghanistan, it is interdisciplinary and in dialogue with anthropological debates on warfare, language, and social violence. Ultimately, it seeks to exemplify the complex processes through which structural violence is coupled with a crisis in representation. Since 2001, the dislocating effects of a U.S. led military campaign have radically shaped new linguistic and cultural formations. The spectacle of war gripped the Afghan national imagination as a source of fantastic power, as a kind of theater where war creates spectacular value even as it destroys through intensive bombing and combat damage. I focus on how this transition in how ‘value’ was understood (as a linguistic and economic idea) manifested in the lives of Afghans and its role in shaping a new understanding of language. I supplement this with archival transcripts to illustrate a British, Russian, and German obsession with Afghan orality and illiteracy and its relation to imperial expansion in Asia.