Ihsan Ul-Ihthisam Chappangan

Cohort Year: 2021
Research Interests: Indian Ocean History, History of Sound, Sufism in South Asia, Arabi-Malayāḷam and Arabu-Tamil Literary History, Early Modern Malabar and Ma’bar.
Education: MA, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2020. BA, Jamia Millia Islamia, 2018.


I am interested in the early modern history of Malabar (modern Kerala) and Ma‘bar (Coromandel) in the ‘Indian Ocean World’ (IOW). My project aims to undertake a historical and anthropological study of the circulation of Sufi texts and sounds, and its reception across the IOW. I would read texts in Arabic, Persian, Malayalam, Arabi-Malayāḷam, Tamil and Arabu-Tamil; as primary sources for my research. I am also interested in the historical, political and sociological aspects of various performance traditions among the Māppiḷa Muslims of Malabar. 

Workshops and Presentation: 

“Hearing the Past: Making Sense of Sounds in the History of Māppiḷa Outbreaks, 19th to 20th Century.” In South Asian Music in the Word: ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music) Study Group on Music and Allied Arts of Greater South Asia, International Research Symposium, University of Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA), Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 12-14,2019. 

“Senses Translated: Paṭappāṭṭus in the Indian Ocean, Circulation of Texts and Sounds across Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit Cosmopoleis.” In Cosmopolitan Cultures and Oceanic Thought; Thinking through History Across the Waters, Three Day International Conference (Online), Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi in collab. with University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, November 23-25,2020. 


“Bolly-wooded devotion,” In Seminar,  Vol.741, (2021), pp.77-82, https://www.india-seminar.com/2021/741/741_ihsan_ul_ihthisam.htm 

with Rohini Menon, “Is There Singing in the Time of Crisis? Sounding Flood Songs of Coastal and Riverine Malabar in the Indian Ocean.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 45, no. 6 (2022): 1037–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2022.2119026.