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Madihah Akhter

Graduation Year
Madihah Akhter

I am a PhD candidate focusing on modern South Asian history and am also completing a PhD minor in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. I received a Master’s in history from Tufts University and a Bachelor’s in history from UCLA. At Stanford, I am associated with the Abbasi Center for Islamic Studies, the Center for South Asia and the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research. My research interests include Islam in South Asia, gender, queer history and global history. My MA thesis focused on feminism and autobiography in Pakistan through the lens of the feminist poet Kishwar Naheed’s Urdu autobiography, Buri Aurat ki Katha(A Bad Woman's Story). My current research concerns sovereignty and gender in princely India in the early twentieth century, specifically the representative, administrative, territorial and legal aspects of sovereignty in Bhopal under the rule of Sultan Jahan Begum, the fourth in a series of female, Muslim rulers of the princely state of Bhopal.

I have been fortunate enough to serve as the teaching assistant for many FemGen/History courses, including: 'Women and Gender in Science, Technology and Medicine', 'Intro to Feminist and LGBTQ Studies' and 'Trans-History: The Long View.' In June 2016, I received the Diane Middlebrook Graduate Teaching Prize in my role as a teaching assistant for FemGen 101:  Intro to Feminist and LGBTQ Studies. In sections, students explored feminism and the media, race, gender, intersectionality, capitalism and third world feminism. The prize money from the Middlebrook Award went to archival research in Bhopal and New Delhi, India. I am also currently a graduate mentor for the VPGE's Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) program and a Writing Mentor for the Stanford-CCNY Exchange. I love studying and teaching alongside peers and mentors in interdisciplinary settings and being a part of an evolving, exciting department!