Workshop 2

City, architectural space and monuments:

heritage  perceptions, uses and management

  • Coordinators:
    • Dr. Corinne LEFEVRE (Historian, Research Scholar at CEIAS, CNRS-EHESS, Paris)
    • Dr. Masooma SHAKIR (Architect, NED, Karachi)
  • Invited tutors (to be completed):
    • Amer BAZL KHAN (Archaeologist, Director at Maritime Archaeology and Heritage Institute, Karachi)
    • Dr. Jean-Baptiste CLAIS (Ethnologist and heritage curator at Louvre Museum, Paris)
    • Dr. Rémy DELAGE (Geographer, Research Scholar at CEIAS, CNRS-EHESS, Paris)
    • Laurent GLATTLI (Historian, Phd Student, Humbodt University, Berlin)
    • Heba HASHMI (Archaeologist, CEO at Maritime Archaeology and Heritage Institute, Karachi)
    • Yves UBELMANN (Architect, President of ICONEM, Paris)


The objective of this workshop is to familiarize students working on urban spaces and professionals engaged in urban heritage management with methodologies and scholarship from social sciences as well as a range of practical tools.

Thinking about the architectural space of cities today first requires an understanding of their history over the longue durée, of the way they were gradually shaped by—often discontinuous—series of political, socio-economic and religious dynamics. A wide range of documentation is available for recovering such space-impacting processes: the workshop will offer a critical survey thereof, from precolonial Indo-Persian literature to recent archaeological excavations, provide methodological strategies to overcome or circumvent documentary gaps or biases, and review how these issues have been addressed in the existing literature. In addition to this long-term perspective and in order to, particular attention will be paid to contemporary appropriations of urban space and heritage by civil society through a number of case studies located in Sindh (Bhit Shah, Sehwan) and elsewhere in South Asia (Lahore, Delhi).

The workshop will also encourage the participants to re-examine notions or practices that are too often taken for granted or deemed universal such as monument or heritage preservation. Focusing on the premodern period, a first set of reflections will investigate the Mughals’ relationship with the built landscape of the empire as well as the dynasty’s conceptions and uses of architecture in urban contexts. Closer to us, the selective process of ‘monumentalization’ that took shape in colonial times and continues to underlay much of state-sponsored preservation activities today will also come under scrutiny.

Yet another contribution of the workshop will be to expose the participants to a number of practical knowledges and technical tools that come in handy both for research purposes and for heritage preservation. Some of them, like museography, have become established disciplines, which despite their institutionalization ensure a fair degree of adaptability vis-à-vis the local context of the museum and its available resources. Others, like the creation of digital replicas of heritage sites, are the result of recent technological innovations and are currently in full bloom. Trainees will have the unique

opportunity to practice 3D digitization first-hand during a brief fieldwork in Karachi and to engage in a more general discussion about the uses and abuses of digital technologies in research and heritage projects.

W2 Schedule


9:30-11:15 Masooma Shakir: Documenting the context and components of a living cultural heritage: the case of the mazar of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai
11:15-11:30 Coffee/tea break
11:30-13:00 Corinne Lefèvre: Islamic cities of precolonial South Asia: how to write their history and recover their spatial dynamics
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-15:45 Laurent Glattli: What (not) to preserve? Defining the monument in postcolonial conservation policies

Jean-Baptiste Clais: Methodology around museology

15:45-16:00 Coffee/tea break
16:00-17:30 Rémy Delage: Surveying the socio-religious landscape of Sehwan Sharif


9:30-11:00 Corinne Lefèvre: The Mughals and the built landscapes of South Asia: beyond and between imperial art and national heritages
11:00-11:15 Coffee/tea break
11:15-13:00 Laurent Glattli: A fence-in, ordered, rationalised space: constructing state monopoly over heritage

Jean-Baptiste Clais: The prospects of Lahore in terms of heritage development

13:00-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-17:30 Heritage digitization fieldwork with Yves Ubelmann


9:30-10:15 Debriefing of the digitization fieldwork with Yves Ubelmann
10:15-11:15 Jean-Baptiste Clais: Digital in museums and heritage sites: a critical reading
11:15-11:30 Coffee/tea break
11:30-13:00 Amer Bazl Khan & Heba Hashmi: Introducing the maritime archaeological resource of Pakistan: a review of methods and case studies
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-15:45 Group work: preparation of knowledge/project restitution supervised
15:45-16:00 Coffee/tea break
16:00-17:30 Group work continues


9:30-11:15 Group work continues
11:15-11:30 Coffee/tea break
11:30-13:00 Group work continues
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-16:00 Plenary group presentation by trainees
16:00-16:30 Coffee/tea break
16:30-18:00 Valedictory Address

Feedback from resource persons, students and trainers

Delivery of certificates







Readings and online resources

Academic publications

Ahmed, Hilal. 2014. Muslim Political Discourse in Postcolonial India. Monuments, Memory, Contestation. London & New York: Routledge, especially ch. 3: ‘Monumentalisation in Postcolonial India: Conservation, Law and Muslim Politics.’

Asher, Catherine B. 2017. Delhi’s Qutb Complex: The Minar, Mosque and Mehrauli. Mumbai: The Marg Foundation.

—-. 1992. Architecture of Mughal India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Avikunthak, Ashish. 2021. Bureaucratic Archaeology: State, Science and Past in Postcolonial India. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Babaie, Sussan and Kafescioğlu, Çiğdem. 2017. Istanbul, Isfahan, and Delhi: Imperial Designs and Urban Experiences in the Early Modern Era”, in F. B. Flood and G. Necipoglu (ed.), A companion to Islamic art and architecture. Wiley.

Blake, Stephen P. 1991. Shahjahanabad. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brand, Michael and Lowry, Glenn (ed.). 1985.  Fatehpur Sikri: A Sourcebook. Cambridge, Mass.: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chakrabarti, Dilip Kumar. 1988. A History of Indian Archaeology from the Beginning to 1947. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.

Chida-Razvi, Mehreen. 2021. “Lahore’s Badshahi Masjid: Spatial Interactions of the Sacred and the Secular”, in The Friday Mosque in the City. Liminality, Ritual, and Politics, ed. A. Hilâl Uğurlu and Suzan Yalman. Intellect.

Cousens, Henry. 1916. Bijapur and its architectural remains: with an historical outline of the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bombay.

Dadlani, Chanchal B. 2019. From stone to paper. Architecture as history in the late Mughal empire. Yale: University Press.

Das, Neeta. 2008. Architecture of Lucknow: Imambaras and Karbalas. Delhi: B. R.

Das, Neeta and Llewellyn-Jones, Rosie (ed.). 2013. Murshidabad, Forgotten capital of Bengal. Mumbai: Marg.

Eaton, R. M. and Wagoner, P. 2014. Power, Memory, Architecture: Contested Sites on India’s Deccan Plateau, 1300-1600. Oxford University Press.

Etter, Anne-Julie. 2011. « Antiquarian Knowledge and Preservation of Indian Monuments at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century », in Daud Ali and Indra Sengupta (ed.), Knowledge Production, Pedagogy, and Institutions in Colonial India. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 75‑95.

Glattli, Laurent. 2020. ‘Conservation and Contestation’. South Asia Chronicle, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10: 441–79.

Hosseini, Sahar. 2019. “Safavid and Mughal Urban Bridges: visual and embodied experience of nature”. South Asian Studies.

Gokhale, Balkrishna Govind. 1979. Surat in the 17th c. A history of urban history in Pre-modern India. Bombay.

Guha, Sudeshna. 2015. Artefacts of History: Archaeology, Historiography and Indian Pasts. Los Angeles; London; New Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Guha-Tharkuta, Tapati. 2004. Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India. Delhi. 2004.

Juneja, Monica (ed.). 2001. Architecture in medieval India: forms, contexts, histories. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.

Kavuri-Bauer, Santhi. 2011. Monumental Matters. The Power, Subjectivity, and Space of India’s Mughal Architecture. Durham & London.

Kervran, Monique. 1996. “Le port multiple des bouches de l’Indus : Barbariké, Dêb, Daybul, Lâhorî Bandar, Diul Sinde”. Res Orientales, 8, p. 45-92.

—-. « Vanishing medieval cities of the northwest Indus delta”. Pakistan Archaeology, 28, p. 3-54.

Khalidi, O. 2009. A guide to architecture in Hyderabad, Deccan, India. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, and MIT Libraries. Also available online at

Koch, Ebba. 1991. Mughal Architecture. An Outline of its History (1528-1858). Delhi: Oxford University Press.

—-. 2001. Mughal art and imperial ideology.  Delhi: Oxford University Press.

—-. 2007. “My Garden is Hindustan: The Mughal Padshah’s Realization of a Political Metaphor”, in Michel Conan (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions. Washington D.C: Dumbarton Oaks.

—-. 2006. The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra. London: Thames & Hudson.

Kumar, Sunil. 2010. The Present in Delhi’s Past: Five Essays. Delhi: Three Essays Collective.

Lahiri, Nayanjot, Jyotindra Jain, and Naman P. Ahuja. 2017. Monuments Matter: India’s Archaeological Heritage since Independence. Mumbai: Marg Foundation.

Llewellyn-Jones, Rosie (ed.). 2003. Lucknow: Then and Now. Mumbai: Marg.

Losensky, Paul. 2015. “’Square like a bubble.’ Architecture, power, and poetics in two inscriptions by Kalīm Kāshānī”, Journal of Persianate Studies 8/1, 42–70.

Michell, George & R. Eaton. 1992. Firuzabad, palace city of the Deccan. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Naqvi H. K. 1971. Urbanisation and Urban Centres under the Great Mughals. Simla: Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.

—-. 1968. Urban centres and industries in Upper India 1556-1803. Delhi.

Qaisar, Ahsan Jan. 1989. Building construction in Mughal India: the evidence from painting. Delhi: Oxford University Press

Rahimi, Babak and Kaya Şahin. 2018. “Introduction: Early Modern Islamic Cities”, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 18/3, special issue on Early Modern Islamic Cities. TOC here:

Rajagopalan, Mrinalini. 2016. Building Histories: the archival and affective lives of five monuments in modern Delhi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rezavi, Nadeem. 2013. Fatehpur Sikri Revisited. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Sengupta, Indra. 2018. ‘Preservation between Empire, Nation and Nationalisms: the Problem of History and Heritage in India’, in Mark Thatcher (ed.), The State and Historic Buildings: Preserving ‘the National Past’, themed section of Nations and Nationalism, 24/1, p. 110–130.

—-. 2017. ‘Law, Religion, Heritage: Preservation in Late Colonial India. The Problem of the Thatta Mosque’, in Joaquim R. Santos (ed.), Preserving Transcultural Heritage: Your Way or my Way?. Vale de Cambra, p. 647–655.

Sharma, Sunil. 2011. “If there is a paradise on this earth, it is here’: urban ethnography in Indo-Persian poetic and historical texts”, in S. Pollock (ed.), Forms of knowledge in early modern Asia. Durham and London: Duke University Press, p. 240-256.

Sharma, Yogesh and Malekandathil, Pius (ed.). 2014. Cities in medieval India. Delhi: Primus Books.

Silva, Kapila D., and Amita Sinha, eds. 2016. Cultural Landscapes of South Asia: Studies in Heritage Conservation and Management. London; New York: Taylor & Francis, especially: Jyoti Pandey Sharma, “The South Asian Shahar – Reimagining Shahariyat as urban heritage”, p. 61-75; Amita Sinha, “The public realm of heritage sites in India – Sustainable approaches towards planning and management”, p. 227-240.

Shokoohy, Mehrdad&Natalie. 2007. Tughluqabad: A Paradigm for Indo-Islamic Urban Planning and Its Architectural Components.  London: Araxus Books.

Singh, M. P. 1985. Town, Market, Mint, and Port in the Mughal Empire, 1556–1707: An Administrative- Cum- Economic Study. New Delhi: Adam Publishers & Distributors.

Smith, Laurajane. 2006. Uses of Heritage. London; New York: Routledge, especially ch. 1: “The discourse of heritage”.

Suganya, Kuili&Rajani, M. B. 2020. “Riverfront gardens and city walls of Mughal Agra: a Study of their locations, extent and subsequent transformations using remote sensing and GIS”, South Asian Studies.

Taneja, Anand V. 2017. Jinnealogy. Time, Islam and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi.  Stanford University Press.

The City in the Islamic World, edited by Salma K. Jayyusi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, and Andre Raymond, Leiden: Brill, 2008.

Trivedi, K. K. 2018. Medieval city of Agra. Delhi: Primus.

UNESCO. 2006.  Information Kit on the 2001 Convention for the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Wescoat, J. L. and J. Wolsche-Bulmahn, eds. 1996. Mughal Gardens; sources, places, representations, and prospects. Washington D. C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Yazdani, G. 1947. Bidar: Its history and monuments. London: Oxford University Press.

Online media

Ahmed, Hilal. ‘Afterlife of a “Monument”: Taj Mahal | Sahapedia’. Sahapedia. (March 13, 2019).

Kanga, Surabhi. ‘“Archaeology Should Be Taken Out of the Corridors of the Government”: Historian Nayanjot Lahiri On the ASI and Preserving Indian Heritage’. The Caravan. (March 23, 2021).

Lahiri, Nayanjot. ‘How Partition Impacted Monuments in Newly Formed India’. The Caravan. (March 18, 2021).

Rajendran, C. P., ‘The Archaeological Survey Bears the Beleaguered Face of Indian Heritage’. The Wire. (March 16, 2021).

Other online resources

Museology: (for fun)


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