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2022 Conferences

Placing Pakistan: Space, Time, and the Everyday
University of Pennsylvania
Tafsilan Working Group 
February 11-12, 2022

The Tafsilan Working Group of the University of Pennsylvania hosted their inaugural conference on February 11-12, 2022. The conference, titled ‘Placing Pakistan: Space, Time and the Everyday,’ brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars whose research spans literacy, geography, cultural politics, gender studies, and visual culture. AIPS funding sponsored two keynote speakers, Dr. Shenila Khoja-Moolji (Bowdoin College) and Dr. SherAli Tareen (Franklin and Marshall). The keynote speakers delivered enlightening talks on women’s cultural studies and religious minorities respectively. Dr. Amber Abbas (St. Joseph’s University) moderated a pedagogy roundtable that compared challenges to teaching between North American and Pakistani higher-education classrooms. In all, seventeen panelists were selected to present their research over the two-day conference. The event organizers noted, “The event not only opened fertile avenues of inquiry for our respective dissertation projects but also allowed five graduate students from Penn and Princeton to serve as discussants for panels related to their expertise." The Tafsilan Working Group is “comprised of graduate students and early career scholars interested in critiquing and expanding the conceptual and methodological frameworks of scholarship on South Asia.”



University of Michigan 11th Annual Pakistan Conference 
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, USA
April 1, 2022

The Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan hosted its 11th Annual Pakistan Conference. This year’s theme was “Trade Networks, Economy, and Sovereignty.” The conference featured a full day of panels and presentations, ending with a keynote by Dr. Aditi Saraf (Utrecht University) titled “Trade Artifacts: Mobility, Sovereignty, and the Edges of Empire.” The three panels sought to navigate the conference’s trade-centered theme and its political and economic implications. Topics covered range from historical trade roots and conflicts to contemporary cross-border disputes and market economies. The conference was held in person at the University of Michigan but was also available for virtual participants. This conference was supported by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and the following units at the University of Michigan: Center for South Asian Studies, History, History of Art, the Rackham Graduate School, the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and the Residential College.



Research Writing Proposal Workshop
Forman Christian College University
Lahore, Pakistan
June 6-7, 2022

AIPS President Dr. Matthew A. Cook (North Carolina Central University) and former AIPS At-Large Trustee Dr. Walter Hakala (University at Buffalo, SUNY) recently organized a workshop for Lahore-area graduate students on developing a proposal for doctoral research. The event, which was held June 6 and 7, 2022 at Forman Christian College University, included sixteen student participants from four institutions (Forman Christian College University, University of the Punjab, Government College University, University of Management and Technology) representing English, History, Pakistan Studies, and Political Science. It was facilitated by Dr. Sikandar Hayat, Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, and the outstanding staff of Forman Christian College University. Over the course of the one-and-a-half-day workshop in Lahore, participants learned strategies for developing compelling research projects, preparing formal research proposals, establishing productive relationships with faculty advisors, and navigating the academic and non-academic job markets.



Writing and Publishing Workshop
Brown University
National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Islamabad
August 5-6, 2022

Dr. Zehra Hashmi (Brown University) and Dr. Ahsan Kamal (Quaid-i-Azam University) led a two-day intensive writing workshop at the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University. The workshop brought together 25 Ph.D. and MPhil students to develop their dissertations and other written work into publishable articles. Participants worked in a collaborative environment to strengthen their writing and improve their intellectual practices and networks, skills that often comprise the “hidden curriculum” of academic study. The overarching goal of the workshop was to “demystify academic knowledge production” so as to move towards addressing the inequalities of access that exist between institutions of the Global North and those in Pakistan.



Pakistan and Partition Through Bengali Eyes
Johns Hopkins
Sylhet, Bangladesh
August 6-10, 2022

A cohort of seven scholars, led by Dr. Naveeda Khan of Johns Hopkins University, convened at a retreat in Sylhet, Bangladesh to discuss Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas’s Khwabnama. Participants discussed their papers and explored the political context of Bangladesh, in which the novel was written. Following the conference, the participants hope to have full papers submitted to a special section of a regional journal to further the discussion of Ilyas’ Khwabnama. 



The Pakistan Conference: 75 Years of Independence
Harvard University
Yaqboob, Bangash

November 29-30, 2022 
The American Institute of Pakistan Studies sponsored “The Pakistan Conference: 75 Years of Independence,” hosted at Harvard University by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute on November 29th and 30th 2022. This was the first time that a Harvard department has organized a conference specifically centered on the field of Pakistan studies. This two-day conference had an interdisciplinary focus across all fields relating to Pakistan, with 40 presenters from a global community of scholars. The interdisciplinary focus ensures that the field of Pakistan studies is moving towards a more holistic humanities and social science approach, beyond the traditional security studies that has dominated the field. The keynote speaker was Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the Senior Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the plenary was given by Dr. Pippa Virdee from DeMontfort University in the UK. AIPS funds helped sponsor the participation of seven graduate students at the conference, ensuring that early-career scholars could also participate in this conference. The conference organizers are now working with Routledge to publish an edited volume based on select conference papers. 




Faculty Development Workshop in Ethnomusicology
National College of Arts-Lahore
Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan, Pakistan

November 30- December 7, 2022

Dr. Richard Wolf, Professor of Music and South Asian Studies at Harvard University, and Dr. Alan Burdette, Director of Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University, organized a series of workshops in Pakistan in Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan, Pakistan in November, and December 2022. The featured workshop was held at the National College of Arts in Lahore and was attended by scholars, performers, produces, and others involved in the field of music. Drs. Wolf and Burdette also participated in a workshop at Radio Pakistan in Multan and at Pakistan TV in Islamabad to interested audiences. The pair also attended a screening and discussion of the film “Two Poets and a River” at the Black Hole, a new cultural center in Islamabad.