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2021 Conferences

Linguistic Anthropology: Mobilizing Key Concepts in the Context of Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan
December 2021

The workshop, facilitated by Dr. Matthew A. Cook, Dr. Gwendolyn Kirk, and Dr. Elizabeth Keating, convenes an interdisciplinary and inter-university group of junior Pakistani faculty to introduce them to concepts from the theoretical toolkit of linguistic anthropology. The workshop addresses a knowledge gap about linguistic anthropology in Pakistan, where linguistics—instead of focusing on the country’s rich language landscape—prioritize ESL and Chomsky’s generative grammar. It is similarly marginal in Pakistani anthropology, which is mostly limited to the discipline’s socio-cultural subfield. Due to this double “blind spot” in linguistics and anthropology, the workshop will benefit Pakistani participants from both of these disciplines. Participants from other disciplines will also profit from it by exposing them to linguistic anthropology’s concepts for understanding language, culture, and society.


Community College Collaborative Workshop 
Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan 
December 2021

Dr. Paul Edleman (Sauk Valley Community College), Prof. Farah Habib (Bristol Community College), and Dr. Robert Soza (Mesa Community College) have been awarded a grant for “The Community College Collaborative,” a professional development initiative to take place at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan. Drs. Edleman and Soza along with Prof. Farah Habib will work with community-college level faculty in Pakistan to develop an integrated humanities and social sciences curriculum for first- and second-year students. Pakistan is piloting a program to model community colleges on Western models geared toward offering two-year degrees and certificates. Similarly, in the US, there is an interest in the humanities and social science departments to globalize curriculum and improve students’ global competency. By working together, faculty from both countries will develop curricula that address local concerns and prepare students for success in the workforce and university programs. The program will host a two-and-a-half-day in-person workshop at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) with the guiding theme of interdisciplinary integration of the humanities and social sciences in community college pedagogy and curriculum. Following the workshop, the US participants will engage with Government Officials and University Administrators to discuss the future and development of community college programs in Pakistan. 


University of Michigan 10th Annual Pakistan Conference
AIPS and University of Michigan
April 2-3, 2021

This year’s conference theme was “Religious Landscapes” and featured two days of presentations, panels, and film screening.  The conference was organized by Matthew Hull, Brittany Puller, and Zehra Hashmi in conjunction with the UM Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS). The conference also included an exhibition with Director and Professor Claire Pamment regarding the contestation and articulation of gender, class, caste, and religious identity in Pakistani theatre.


NYU Bangladesh Conference
July 1-3, 2021

AIPS co-sponsored a recent virtual conference organized by South Asia NYU and the UT South Asia Institute commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the Bangladesh War of 1971. The three-day conference, “War, Violence, and Memory: Commemorating 50 Years of the 1971 Bangladesh War" was held July 1st - 3rd and featured numerous panels and discussions about Pakistani and Bangladeshi history, the war of 1971, and its implications.

Writing Pakistan: Literature, Nationhood, and Identity
October 22, 2021

This AIPS-funded panel will take place at the 2021 Annual Conference on South Asia and is organized by Mushtaq Bilal, PhD candidate at Binghamton University. The panel seeks to investigate the relationship between Pakistani literature, nationhood, and identity by bringing together established scholars and graduate students working on Pakistani literature. Some of the questions this panel aims to explore: How is Pakistan as an Islamic nation imagined through literature? What kind of discourse of an “Islamic nationhood” emerges out of Pakistani Urdu literature? Who is a “Pakistani writer?” What role do Pakistani literatures play in crafting or contesting a “national identity?” How are minorities portrayed in Pakistani literatures? Two scholars, Muneeza Shamsie and Nasir Abbas Nayyar, will join from Pakistan to participate in the panel. U.S. scholars on the panel include Cara Cilano, Ambreen Hai, Ulka Anjaria, Sameera Abbas, Rajendar Kaur, Zain Mian, and Mushtaq Bilal.