Ayesha Jalal

Ayesha Jalal

Cabot 610
160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
Research/Areas of Interest:

Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Politics; Decolonization in Asia, Islam


  • Ph.D., Trinity College, University of Cambridge
  • B.A., Wellesley College


Ayesha Jalal is the Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University. After majoring in history and political science at Wellesley College, she obtained her doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge. Jalal has been Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (1980-1984); Leverhulme Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge (1984-1987); Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. (1985-1986); and Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (1988-1990). From 1998-2003 she was a MacArthur Fellow.

Her publications include "The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan," "The State of Martial Rule: the Origins of Pakistan’s Political Economy of Defence," and "Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: a Comparative and Historical Perspective." Jalal has co-authored "Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Political Economy" with Sugata Bose. Her study of Muslim identity in the subcontinent, entitled "Self and Sovereignty: the Muslim Individual and the Community of Islam in South Asia since c.1850." Her most recent book is "Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia."

Areas of expertise

History & Diplomacy
International Politics

Professional Activities

  • Professor of History, Tufts University (1999-present)
  • Associate Professor, Columbia University (1991-1999)
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard University (1998-1999)
  • Fellow, Macarthur Foundation (1998-2003)
  • Member Editorial Board, Third World Quarterly
  • Member International Advisory Committee, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS)

Other Affiliations

  • Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies
  • Program for Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization

Courses Taught

Selected Publications and Presentations


'History of Pakistan', revised and updated essay for South Asia 2014, London, Europa Publications

'Pakistan 2014', Encyclopedia Britannica online

'Egypt can Learn from Pakistan's Fallacy', The BRICS Post, July 29, 2013

'Pakistan 2013', Encyclopedia Britannica online

'Resisting Dictatorship: Counter-Narratives in Military Dominated Pakistan' in Translocal: Miniaturist Practice out of Pakistan, Tufts University, 2013

"Striking a Just Balance: Maulana Azad as a Theorist of Trans-national Jihad”, Modern Intellectual History – April 2007

"India, Pakistan, and the New Order," National Review (August 2004)


The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014)

The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times and Work Across the India Pakistan Divide, The Lawrence Stone Lectures April 2011,(Princeton University Press, 2013)

Reader for Modern South Asia - companion volume to Modern South Asia (co-author) (in preparation)

Manto, joint editor with Nusrat Jalal for this Bilingual (Urdu and English) commemorative volume on Saadat Hasan Manto's birth centenary, Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2012)

Oxford Companion to Pakistani History, editor, (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia (2008)

"Pakistan," The World Book Encyclopedia (2003)

Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since c. 1850s (2000)

"South Asian Nationalism," The Encyclopedia of Nationalism (2000)

Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Political Economy (third edition, co-author) (in preparation)

Modern South Asia: History, Culture, and Political Economy (co-author) (1998)

Nationalism, Democracy and Development: State and Politics in India (co-editor) (1997)

Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: A Comparative and Historical Perspective

The State of Martial Rule: The Origins of Pakistan's Political Economy of Defence (1990)

The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan (1985)

Battle for Pakistan (in preparation)

Jinnah (in preparation)

Reader for Modern South Asia (companion volume to Modern South Asia based on selections from primary sources) with Sugata Bose (Routledge) (In Preparation)


An Uncertain Trajectory: Islam's Contemporary Globalization, 1971-1979' in The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, edited by Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel Sargent (forthcoming)

"Methodologies and Sources for Studying Pakistani Women," Encyclopedia for Women and Islamic Cultures (forthcoming)


Masters of Mutilation, India Today, August 22, 2009

Jalal, Ayesha. "Mr Ravana: Slay The Myth." Outlook, 4 July 2005.

Jalal, Ayesha. "Between Myth and History." Dawn, 23 March 2005.

"Kashmir: The Deepening Scars," The News (2000)

"On the Wrong Side of History? U.S.-Pakistan Relations in the 21st Century," Dawn (2000)