Dr. Shireen Mirza, 2015
Shireen Mirza is an anthropologist interested in understanding ways urban religion forges legality. Her book Aspiring for Authenticity: Notions of Truth and Legality in a Mumbai Slum facilitated through a fellowship at MPI-MMG, is an ethnography of horizons and urban aspirations as scripting newer geographies, urban practices and legalities. The book explores how communities in Mumbai’s unclassified ‘slums’ strive to legalize and legitimize their lifeworlds by deploying global community networks, political party affiliations and visual vernacular narratives to be recognized as authentic and legitimate. Prior to this, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. She obtained her PhD in Anthropology and Sociology, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Her doctoral dissertation was a historical ethnography of the old city of Hyderabad. In it, she explored the presence of a pre-colonial past in the affective energies and temporal rhythms expressed in present-day renditions of Muslim belonging to the old city. After completing her PhD, she conducted post-doctoral work as part of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and MPI-MMG 'Urban Aspirations' project.