Some of the most innovative and influential works in the humanities and the social sciences in the last two decades were those that cast “comparative perspectives on South Asia and the Middle East.” Engaging Aamir Mufti’s (UCLA) groundbreaking work in the comparative study of South Asia and the Middle East, beginning with Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture (Princeton, 2007), this discussion will focus on scholarship that typically goes beyond area studies models despite working within specific areas, and while displaying social scientific scrutiny, also frames larger historical and theoretical contexts of global, humanistic relevance. Issues addressed will range from “minority” in multiple Middle Eastern and South Asian social and religious, historical and contemporary frames (South Asian, “Islamicate,” Persianate, Ottoman, Indian etc.) to the theoretical relevance of the “Jewish question” in South Asia; from the question of “global Arabic” and the particularities of non-Western secularisms to the relation of “Orientalism” to modern literary activity in a global scale. We will revisit historical, methodological and theoretical questions that Aamir Mufti raised in Enlightenment in the Colony, assessing them in the contexts of his most recent book Forget English! Orientalisms and World Literatures (Harvard, 2016).