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2018 Conferences

Conference Panel at the 2018 Association of Asian Studies Conference – Democratic Consolidation in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities
Washington D.C.
March 25, 2018

The task given to the participants in this roundtable is to outline not just the challenges faced by democratic institutions in Pakistan but also changes on the horizon that are often ignored but bode well for deepening roots of democratic institutions.  The speakers will concentrate on the Judiciary, Political Parties, Media and Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and outline both the challenges faced and potentials present for democratic consolidation. Mariam Mufti will discuss the role of Political Parties in democratic consolidation by focusing on whether PTI (Pakistan Therik-e-Insaf) under the leadership of Imran Khan represents a departure from ‘clan based’ politics  controlled by family members. Charles Kennedy will provide discuss the role of judiciary in democratic consolidation.  The judiciary had in the past given a constitutional cover to military takeover but it also played a significant role in bringing the military government of General Musharraf. Anwar Iqbal will focus on the role of media in democratic consolidation. Does the highly partisan media help or hinder democratic consolidation? Michael Kugelman will discuss what if any role the U.S. can play in democratic consolidation in Pakistan.




8th Annual Pakistan Conference: Movement, Migration, and Borders
Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Awardee: Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan (Matthew Hull)
April 6, 2018

The contemporary realities of migration and movement have implicated Pakistan within a global network of transaction and belonging, this due in part to the ever-growing mobility of Pakistanis. Both within and across the borders of Pakistan, the title of immigrant, citizen, and refugee has crafted new notions of identity and community. Further, the relationship between both the diaspora and Pakistan have shaped the conceptions of one another, and ultimately Pakistan. The narratives in circulation about “Pakistan in the world” garner security concerns and fears about radicalization and terrorism. This year’s U-M Pakistan Conference challenges this dominant theme by highlighting new and exciting developments in the field of Pakistani migrations. This multidisciplinary conference brings together academics, activists, journalists, and artists from Pakistan, Europe, Bangladesh, and the United States in a discussion of the global and mobile realities of Pakistan and its people, and the histories and trajectories of Pakistani diasporas to Aboriginal Australia, the Arabian Gulf, Europe, and North America.




Round Table Discussion on Emerging Trends in Social Sciences Research for Parliament
Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in Islamabad
August 2, 2018

Dr. Michael Hirsch and Dr. Tricia Jokerst presented different research challenges developing in the field of Social Sciences to researchers from the Pakistani National Parliament (Pakistan Senate Secretariat and National Assembly Secretariat).  Dr. Hirsch addressed the various topics of public sociology, pseudo-science, corporate funding and big data, while Dr. Jokerst expanded on the practices of parliamentary research in the US, emphasizing the field of educational research.  This event provided researchers at PIPS in Islamabad the opportunity to further their professional development in parliamentary research and strengthen their ties to other researchers in both Pakistan and the US.




Panel Presentation on Social Science Research in the Contemporary World: Trends and Challenges
Fatima Jinnah Women University
August 3, 2018

Participants from different institutions around Pakistan came together at the Social Science Research in the Contemporary World: Trends and Challenges panel at Fatima Jinnah Women University to discuss the difficulties they may face in Social Science research and how to address them.  AIPS-sponsored scholars, Dr. Michael Hirsch and Dr. Amelia Maciszewski, led discussions along with Dr. Rabia Gul and Dr. Mazhar Hussain Bhutta.




Pakistan Lecture Series – Naila Mahmood
North Carolina State University, Cornell University, Brown University
September 19-26, 2018

Ms. Naila Mahmood, a highly regarded visual artist, writer and documentary photographer from Karachi, was selected to participate in the AIPS Pakistan Lectures Series.  She presented at the Rabb Symposium on Urban Sustainability at North Carolina State University, Cornell University’s weekly seminar series and Brown University’s “Art History from the South 2018-19” series.




Special Lunch Session: The Disposable Pakistani Scholars at AAS-in Asia (Delhi, India): A RoundTable Discussion
47th Annual Conference on South Asia
Madison, WI
October 12, 2018

This round table was motivated by concerns regarding the particular matrix under which nationalist politics and denial of voice to Pakistani scholars feed into the objectification of Muslims, the inadequacy of AAS’s response allowing the Indian government to make the Pakistani scholars disposable, and a re-examination of academic professional ethics. The round table included several speakers from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh and was moderated by Yasmin Saikia.