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Future Directions in Pakistan Studies | Participants

Manan Ahmed

Manan Ahmed is interested in the relationship between text, space and narrative. His work on Islam’s arrival to Sindh in the 8th century traces the longue durée history of contestations among varied communities in South Asia. His areas of specialization include political and cultural history of Islam in South and Southeast Asia, frontier-spaces and the city in medieval South Asia, imperial and colonial historiography, and philology. He is involved in Digital Humanities projects - especially with visualizing space in medieval texts and textualizing medieval and early-modern maps. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Columbia University.

Kamran Asdar Ali

Kamran Asdar Ali is associate professor of anthropology and the Director of the South Asia Institute at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Planning the Family in Egypt: New Bodies, New Selves (UT Press, 2002) and the co-editor of Gendering Urban Space in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa (Palgrave 2008) and Comparing Cities: Middle East and South Asia (Oxford 2009). He has published several articles on issues of health and gender in Egypt and on urban issues, labor history, gender and popular culture in Pakistan. He recently co-edited the volume Gender, Politics and Performance in South Asia (Oxford 2015) and is the author of the forthcoming book, Communism in Pakistan: Politics and Class Activism 1947-1972 (IB Tauris).

Iftikhar Dadi

Iftikhar Dadi is Associate Professor at Cornell University in the Department of History of Art. He also served as Chair of the Department of Art (2010-14). Research interests include postcolonial theory and modern art and popular culture, with emphasis on South and West Asia. Publications include the book Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (University of North Carolina Press 2010), and essays that have appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes. He is Contributing Editor for Bio-Scope: South Asian Screen Studies journal, and is currently working on a book on Urdu cinema.

Curated exhibitions include Lines of Control (with Hammad Nasar) on partitions and borders (Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, 2012 and Nasher Museum at Duke, 2013); and Tarjama/Translation (with Leeza Ahmady and Reem Fadda) on the contemporary art of the Middle East and Central Asia (Queens Museum of Art, 2009 and Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art, 2010).

As an artist he collaborates with Elizabeth Dadi, they have shown widely internationally. Exhibitions include the 24th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil; the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial, Australia; Walker Art Center, Minnesota; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Queens Museum of Art, New York; and Art Gallery of Windsor, Canada. Work has been included in numerous publications and exhibition catalogs including Fresh Cream (Phaidon Press) and reviewed in Art Monthly, The Guardian (UK) and The New York Times.

Haris Gazdar

Haris Gazdar works on social policy and political economy issues. He has taught as well as conducted academic research in the UK, India, and Pakistan. Current research interests include Karachi, and women’s work in agriculture.  Besides his academic and consultancy assignments, he has worked on an honorary basis as adviser to research programmes, government and non-governmental organizations, and political parties.

Framji Minwalla

Framji Minwalla is currently the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts at the Institute of Business Administration—Karachi.  He has taught at a number of different institutions including Yale University, Vassar College, Dartmouth College, the George Washington University, New York University, Fordham University, and SZABIST. His research interests include Performance Literature and History; Visual and Cultural Studies; Theater and Politics; Media and Film; and all forms of theory (linguistic, political, dramatic, visual, queer, literary or otherwise).  His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.  He is currently working on a book tentatively titled Writing Theater’s Histories, an interrogation of 20th century performance historiography.  Dr. Minwalla was awarded a B.A. (1987) by the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, and an M.F.A. (1991) and a D.F.A. (2000) both by the Yale School of Drama.

Rabia Nadir

Rabia Nadir is an Assistant Professor and Acting Head of the Centre for Media Studies at the Lahore School of Economics. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Environment Science and Policy Studies where she teaches courses in Urban and Community Studies.  She received her B.Arch. from Pratt Institute N.Y. in 1988 and an MPhil in Environment Science and Policy from the Lahore School of Economics in 2013. Her MPhil research focused on Pathan migrant settlement in the historical Walled City of Lahore. Her present research interests focus on socio-ecological change in small cities in Pakistan. Earlier in her career she has been a practicing architect and full time instructor at the Departments of Architecture and Interior Design at the National College of Arts Lahore.

Kishwar Rizvi

Kishwar Rizvi is an historian of Islamic Art and Architecture. She has written on representations of religious and imperial authority in Safavid Iran, as well as on issues of gender, nationalism and religious identity in modern Iran and Pakistan. She is the author of The Safavid Dynastic Shrine: History, religion and architecture in early modern Iran (London: British Institute for Persian Studies, I. B. Tauris, 2011) and editor of Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and politics in the twentieth century (University of Washington Press, 2008), which was awarded a Graham Foundation publication grant. She is completing a new book, The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the contemporary Middle East (University of North Carolina Press, Fall 2015), for which she was selected as a Carnegie Foundation Scholar. Her current fieldwork includes research in several parts of the Middle East, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.