Sajida Alvi

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Sajida S. Alvi (born 1941) is an academic of Pakistani origin in Canada. She is a historian of Islam in South Asia and was the inaugural appointment to the chair in Urdu Language and Culture at the Institute of Islamic Studies from September 1987 till her retirement in June 2010.


Alvi moved to Canada in January 1967 as a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. She accepted a teaching position at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal, in 1972; she taught there for five years and then moved to the University of Minnesota in 1977. After receiving tenure and promotion at the University of Minnesota, she returned to McGill University in 1986.

She is the first appointee to an endowed Chair in Urdu Language and Culture (funded by the Government of Pakistan, Department of Multiculturalism, Government of Canada and McGill University), and is a Professor of Indo-Islamic History at McGill University.

Alvo has lectured in Canada and the United States on Islam, aspects of Islamic civilization, and women’s issues, and works with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women regarding women’s issues. She also worked various Boards of Education in Ontario to support and enhance the instruction of heritage languages programs with special reference to Urdu with funding from the Department of Multiculturalism.


Alvi’s books on Indo-Islamic history include Mir’at al-‘Alam: History of Emperor Awangzeb......
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