Amanda Lanzillo (Brunel University London)
Pious labour: Islam, artisanship, and technology in colonial India

Artisan industrial workers in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century north India faced radical industrial and technological shifts in their trades. To negotiate these changes, many Muslim artisans in trades such as blacksmithing, carpentry, and tailoring asserted distinctive Islamic traditions for their work and technologies of production. In this talk, I argue that Muslim artisans made claims on pious technical knowledge in a context where industrial authority was increasingly associated with the colonial state and Indian middle classes. I likewise explore the archive of Muslim artisans’ pious technical knowledge, analysing the emergence of new intersections of embodied and textual knowledge of craft within the Indian print economy.