Ilsa Abdul Razzak (she/her/hers)

Graduate Student
Ilsa-Abdul-Razzak, Graduate Student, History

Contact Information

SMI 214
Office Hours
SP24: Mondays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.


M.A., South Asia Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, 2022
B.S., Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, IBA, Karachi, 2018

Ilsa is a PhD candidate, working on the late Mughal Empire and the seventeenth century in South Asia. She is currently studying manuscripts on Islamic rituals written in vernacular languages such as Dakhni, Gojri, and Hindavi. Broadly, Ilsa is interested in understanding the social history of jurists and scholars in the Mughal Empire, which will be the focus of her dissertation. She has presented some of her work at the 2023 AAS Annual Conference, at the 51st ACSA 2023 in Madison, and at graduate student workshops on campus. Her language training includes Persian and Arabic, two languages taught by the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures department. Apart from her primary field which is early modern South Asia, Ilsa's secondary fields are modern South Asia, comparative colonialisms, and Persianate poetics and texts. 

Ilsa completed an MA in South Asia Studies in 2022 from the University of Washington. Her research focused on a multi-volume legal text compiled by scholars during the rule of the emperor Aurangzeb (Fatawa-e Alamgiri). Prior to working on early modern South Asia, Ilsa has done research work with oral histories, and histories of the Partition of South Asia. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the experiences of women who migrated from India to Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s. A condensed version of this research was published as a cover story. In her free time, Ilsa watches old Pakistani dramas, reads Urdu poetry, cooks, and writes (sporadically) for her Wordpress blog


Pre-dissertation Research Travel Funding, Summer 2023
Top Scholar Award/Departmental Fellowship, 2022-2023
Jackson School Graduate Book Award, June 2022
Fulbright Scholarship, 2020-2022

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