Syed A Hyder
Syed Akbar Hyder"s research interests lie in South Asian aesthetics, particularly those related to Urdu literature and mystical Muslim traditions. Hyder is also leading a team of language instructors in setting up ILR-based assessment tools for Urdu. In his spare time, Professor Hyder provides expert testimony and consultation on a pro-bono basis to individuals and families seeking asylum in the United States. He also works closely with K-12 educators working on incorporating the studies of the humanities into the curriculum of their schools.
His first book, Reliving Karbala: Martyrdom in South Asian Memory, underscores the complexity that religious symbols carry in varying contexts. Hyder reveals multiple and often conflicting interpretations of the Karbala story, and investigates the varying ways in which the story is used for personal and communal identity in South Asia. His second book, A'iye Urdu Parhen: Let's Study Urdu, was co-authored with Ali Asani, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard. This textbook for beginning Urdu students has received significant acclaim as an effective and authoritative tool for teaching Urdu. Hyder is working on monograph, tentatively titled, Lives of Passion and Paradox: Josh Malihabadi and His Peers. A significant part of this study is dedicated to the literary and cultural debates about what constitutes beauty in the overlapping autobiographical and lyrical traditions of Persian and Urdu