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Sarah Frances Deborah Ansari is a professor of history at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is a specialist in the recent history of South Asia, and particularly Pakistan and the partition of India.
Ansari's first book was Sufi Saints and State Power: the Pirs of Sind, 1843-1947 (Cambridge, 1992), an elaboration of her University of London PhD thesis, which examined the role of the pirs of Sind, a local Muslim religious elite, in mediating between the British clonial rulers and the people of Sind It was reviewed by Michel Boivin (CNRS, Paris) in the Bulletin Critique Des Annales Islamologiques in 1998. and by Seema Alavi in The Indian Economic & Social History Review in 1993.
In 2002 she edited and contributed to a volume of essays relating to Women, Religion and Culture in Iran (Routledge, London) with Vanessa Martin.
Ansari's Life after Partition (Oxford, 2005), dealt with the effects of the partition of India on the province of Sindh and in Karachi, and was described by Manu Bhagavan in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History as speaking to "matters of pressing contemporary importance, revealing how history is inherently linked to, and informs, the present". Iftikhar Malik in Reviews in History praised the book for providing an "in-depth knowledge of the immense speed and volume of demographic diversification within Sindh", based on Ansari's research in archives in Karachi and at The National Archives in London, supplemented by her examination of American diplomatic correspondence and a study of the English-language Pakistan newspaper Dawn.
In 2014 she was the joint editor of From Subjects to Citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan, 1947–1970, (Cambridge University Press, Delhi) based on a research collaboration between Royal Holloway and the University of Leeds.
- Sufi Saints and State Power: the Pirs of Sind, 1843-1947. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992. ISBN 0-521-40530-0
- Women, Religion and Culture in Iran. Routledge, 2002. (Editor with Vanessa Martin) ISBN 978-0700715091
- Life after Partition: migration, community and strife in Sindh, 1947-1962. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005. ISBN 9780195978346
- From Subjects to Citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan, 1947–1970. Cambridge University Press, Delhi, 2014. (Joint editor with Taylor C. Sherman & William Gould) ISBN 978-1107064270
- Professor Sarah Ansari. Royal Holloway, University of London. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Dr. Sarah Ansari. From Subjects to Citizens. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. cambridge.org Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- The Pirs of Sind and their relationship with the British, 1843-1947. Sarah F. D Ansari University of London, 1987.
- Sufi Saints and State Power: the Pirs of Sind, 1843-1947. / Ansari, Sarah. Royal Holloway. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- Michel Boivin, Bulletin Critique Des Annales Islamologiques, Vol. 13 (1997), pp. 86-89.
- Seema Alavi, The Indian Economic & Social History Review, Volume 30, No. 2 (June 1993), pp. 239-240.
- Review: Life After Partition. Manu Bhagavan, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Summer 2007), via Project Muse. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- Review, Life after Partition. Iftikhar Malik, Reviews in History, November 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- From Subjects to Citizens. Retrieved 25 September 2017.