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Speaker Bios | 8th Annual Pakistan Conference: Movement, Migration, and Borders

Dr. Ali Nobil Ahmad, Research Fellow, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin

Ali Nobil Ahmad is a Fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. He was previously Visiting Professor of South Asian Studies at Brandeis University, Assistant Professor of History at LUMS University in Pakistan and a recipient of the Guardian newspaper's Scott Trust Bursary for journalists. His research interests are in migration, film and media, and political ecology.

Dr. Attiya Ahmad, Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, George Washington University

Dr. Attiya Ahmad is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at The George Washington University (Washington DC, USA). Broadly conceived, her research focuses on the gendered interrelation of Islamic reform movements and political economic processes spanning South Asia and the Middle East, in particular the greater Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean regions. Dr. Ahmad is currently working on a project focusing on the development of global halal tourism networks. She is the author of Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait (Duke Press, 2017), which has received the Clifford Geertz Prize honorable mention from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, and the Sara Whaley Prize honorable mention from the National Women's Studies Association. She has held several fellowships and grants, including the ACLS/LUCE fellowship in Religion, Journalism and International Affairs, Stanford Humanities Center, and National Science Foundation.

Dr. Sanaa Alimia, Research Fellow, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin

Dr. Sanaa Alimia is a research fellow based at the Leibniz-ZMO, Berlin. She holds a PhD from the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS, London. Sanaa used to teach at the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS (2011-2014) and also taught at the Department of Politics at the University of Peshawar (2013-2014, 2016-2017) as a Visiting Associate Professor. Sanaa's work concentrates on Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Her manuscript 'Afghan Refugees in Pakistan' will be out in 2018/2019.

Dr. Samia Khatun, Associate Professor of History, Department of General Education, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

Samia Khatun is a historian and filmmaker. She writes histories of colonised peoples across the Indian Ocean world, focussing on both South Asia and Australia. She has made two full length documentaries on race relations in Australia and she completed her PhD in History at the University of Sydney in 2012. Since then Samia has held postdoctoral positions at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (Berlin, Germany), the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) and she was a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of History at the University of Melbourne (Australia). She has recently joined the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh, where she is developing a history curriculum.

Dr. Ammara Maqsood, Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

Ammara Maqsood is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. From 2014-2017, she held an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and a Junior Research Fellowship at St Catherine’s College Oxford. She is the author of The New Pakistani Middle Class(Harvard University Press, 2017).

Farjad Nabi, Co-Director, Zinda Bhaag

Farjad Nabi has directed award-winning documentaries including Nusrat has Left the Building...  But When? and No One Believes the Professor. Co-Directing with Meenu Gaur, their first feature about Zinda Bhaag (Run for your Life, 2013) was Pakistan’s first entry for Academy Awards consideration in 50 years. This was followed by a short feature Jeewan Hathi (The Elephant in the Room), a satire on the media. Their current projects include Karachi: Tasting the Secret, a documentary built on stories of migration to the Karachi as well as another feature film. As a writer, his Punjabi plays Annhi Chunni di Tikki (Bread of Chaff & Husk) and Jeebho Jani di Kahani (The Story of Jeebho Jani) have been performed for the stage.

Dr. Pnina Werbner, Professor Emerita in Social Anthropology, Keele University

She is an urban anthropologist who has studied Muslim South Asians in Britain and Pakistan and, more recently, the women's movement and the Manual Workers Union in Botswana funded by the ESRC programme on Non-Governmental Public Action and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Her study in Botswana has led to her most recent monograph, The Making of an African Working Class and to a major edited book Political Aesthetics of Global Protest, both in 2014. In 2015 she was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship to study ‘The Changing Kgotla: The Transformation of Customary Courts in Village Botswana’. She has also been, since 2008, Principal Investigator of two major projects: ‘New African Migrants in the Gateway City: Ethnicity, Religion, Citizenship’ (ESRC) and ‘In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Prophet: Sociality, Caring and the Religious Imagination in the Filipino Diaspora’ (AHRC). In 2006, she convened the Association of Social Anthropologists Diamond Jubilee Conference on Cosmopolitanism and Anthropology. The scope of her work is reflected in her published articles and collected volumes which engage with the challenges presented by the rise of Islamic radicalism, the Rushdie affair, cultural hybridity, migration and culture, religious identity, women, citizenship and difference. She has presented plenary addresses to the Australian, Swiss and American Associations and been invited to give keynote addresses throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, Israel, Pakistan, and Indonesia. She has been co-editor of the prestigious 'Postcolonial Encounters' series published by Zed Books (distributed by Palgrave in the US) and, in addition, she organizes the annual Pakistan Workshop at Satterthwaite.

Her two books, Imagined Diasporas among Manchester Muslims and Pilgrims of Love, along with The Migration Process make up the Manchester Migration Trilogy, a series of three single-authored books tracing the processes of Pakistani migration, community formation, religious transnationalism and diaspora over a period of fifty years. The series as a whole interrogates the translocation of culture - its dislocation, transplantation and translation in the course of migration. Collectively the three books form the most comprehensive body of ethnography about any immigrant community in Britain.