Dr Naila Sahar

Dr Naila Sahar

Assistant Professor

PhD (State University of New York, Buffalo NY. USA)
Fulbright scholar (2013-2018)
MPhil ( Government College University, Lahore)
Room # 113, Faculty Block
Ext: 834

PhD Dissertation title: ‘Reimagining Muslim Women: Gendered Religious Life and Resistance in the Age of Islamophobia’

Research interests: Gender/ feminist studies, Islamic Feminism, Postcolonial Studies, Muslim Women Resistance, Gendered social movements, Gendered religious nationalism, South Asian Literature.

Honors, Awards and Fellowships:

  • Awarded Fulbright scholarship to pursue PhD at State University of New York, Buffalo. (2013-2018)
  • Graduate Fellow Northeast Modern Language Association’s (NeMLA). Worked as NeMLA’s Convention and Editor fellow for the year 2017-2018.
  • Graduate Student honoree for Student academic excellence award at State University of New York, Buffalo (2018).
  • Awarded travel grant from the UB Gender Institute to participate in the 12th Annual Duke Feminist Theory Workshop, at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, which is among the most prestigious and longest running workshops in the field of feminist theory worldwide. This travel award is granted through a highly competitive application process only to advanced PhD students. (2018)
  • Awarded Travel Award by Modern Language Association (MLA), to attend the annual convention 2018.
  • Winner of Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition 2018, at State University of New York, Buffalo. It is an annual competition held in over 200 universities worldwide, that challenges PhD students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. The event was globally broadcasted via internet.
  • Awarded Stanford University’s travel award to present paper at South Asia by the Bay Conference “Offense! The Public Life of Injury in South Asia”, held at Stanford University (2017).

Awarded American institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) travel award twice

a) For the presentation of paper ‘Syncretic Language: An Archive of History and Experience in a Postcolonial World’ at 25th Annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference on February 26, 2016.

b) For the presentation of my paper  ‘Revisionary Political Historiography in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction’ at the 46th Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, WI on October 26 – 28, 2017.

Select Conferences and Presentations:

  • ‘Muslim Women Reclaim Religion and Self’ in Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Convention (NeMLA) 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  •  ‘The Laws and Politics of Precarity’ in South Asian Literary Association (SALA) annual conference in January 2018, in New York, New York.
  • ‘Blasphemy law and power dynamics in Pakistan’ in South Asia by the bay conference at Stanford University in April 2017, in Stanford, California.
  • Revisionary Political Historiography in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction’ at the 46th Annual Conference on South Asia held on October 26 – 28, 2017, in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • ‘Neo-colonialism, Elitist Discourse and the Silent Subaltern’ at the Annual South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Conference, January 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  •  ‘Revisionary Historiography and Cultural Identity of South Asia in the Novels of Khaled Husseini and Kamila Shamsie’ in New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS), October 2016, in Utica, New York.
  • ‘Syncretic Language: An archive of History and Experience in a Postcolonial World’ at annual British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference held on 26th-27th February, 2016, in Savannah, Georgia.
  • ‘Voices of revolution at the cross roads of cultures’ in Sigma Tau Delta’s 2015 Far Western Regional Conference “Perspectives from the Margins: Reexamining Movements, Figures, and Texts”, which was held in California State University, on November 13 – 14, 2015, in Fullerton California.
  • ‘Collective trauma, memory and history in Khalid Husseini’s novels’ in Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Convention (NeMLA) April 2015 in Toronto, Canada.
  • ‘Narrating History, Mingling Memory and Experience’ at 15th Annual South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Conference ‘Borders, boundaries, and margins’ on January 2015, in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.
  • ‘Language and literature at the cross roads of culture’ in International Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures on August 2012 and then again in 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The papers also got published in the conference proceedings.  

  • ‘Feminist Exegesis and Muslim Women’s Agency’ in International Conference on “Interactions and Interchanges: Literature, Culture & Globalization” 6th -8th December 2018 at Kinnaird College for Women Lahore, Pakistan.
  •  ‘Muslim Women and the Challenges of Double Bind in Contemporary Politics’ presented in the panel titled The Muslim Woman Question: Aesthetics of Representation and the Politics of Erasure at the 13th Humanities and Social Sciences Conference at LUMS, Lahore in April, 2019.

Editorial Board:

  • Translation Editor for Pakistaniaat, a refereed, multidisciplinary, and open access academic journal offering a forum for scholarly and creative engagement with various aspects of Pakistani history, culture, literature, and politics.
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of Research (Humanities).

Memberships and Services: 

  • Member Modern Language Association (MLA), Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), South Asian Language Association (SALA), and American Institute of Pakistan Studies.
  • Member International Student Committee in English Graduate Student Association, State University of New York, Buffalo
  • Member “The Sisters”, a group comprised of faculty, professional women, students, refugees and immigrants, which was formed in collaboration with The University at Buffalo Gender Institute and the Coalition for the Advancement for Moslem Women.
  • Coordinator Fulbright Young Professionals Network- Western New York/North Western Pennsylvania Chapter. Responsibilities include organizing YPN events to improve the communication between the 20+ universities and colleges in Western New York/North Western Pennsylvania Chapter. This includes working together with the YPN Planning Committee members to set up regional and city-wide YPN events.
  • Member Welcome Center team at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, held in New York City from 4-7 January 2018.
  • Volunteer at ‘Journey’s end, Refugee Services’ program.
  • Volunteer at International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), that supports international students at UB.
  • Contributor at ‘The Collective’, a Western New York based magazine.
  •  Started series ‘Writers Talk’ at English Department, University of Management and Technology where national and international writers are invited to share their writings and opinion pieces.
  •  Started ‘PhD Dissertation Retreats’ for PhD students at English Department, University of Management and Technology where PhD students are provided with space, time, and encouragement to make progress on their doctoral dissertations in the company of other writers.

Publications:

Journal Articles:

  • “Language: An archive of History and Experience in Kamila Shamsie’s Novels”, published in Journal of Research (Humanities), Vol. LV Jan. 2019.
  • “The Blasphemy law and power dynamics in Pakistan.” South Asian Voices, 18th July, 2018. South Asian Voices is an online policy platform for strategic analysis on South Asia, and is hosted by the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C
  • Upcoming: “Narrating Pakistani History: Mingling Memory and Experience in Kamila Shamsie’s Novels” in The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies.

Articles:

  • “Cultivating Empathy Through Cross-Cultural Understanding.” Muslim American Leadership Alliance Story-telling Series, July, 2016
  • “The Bigly Phenomenon of Trumpian Discourse.” The Collective, December 2016
  • “Shattering Stereotypes: Muslim Women Sing.” The Collective, July 2017.
  • “Malala Yousafzai and the Dynamics of Story-telling.” The Collective, December, 2017

Book Review

  • ‘Things She Could Never Have’. South Asian Review. Taylor & Francis. Volume 39, 2018 – Issue 3-4. 2018
  • Conference Proceedings:- ‘Language: An archive of cultural memory and identity in Kamila Shamsie’s novels’. Published in the conference proceedings of ‘International Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures’ (ACAC, 2012), Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok.
  • ‘Breaking the silence: Revisionary historiography and cultural identity in the novels of Khaled Husseini and Kamila Shamsie’. Published in the conference proceedings of ‘International Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures’ (ACAC, 2013), Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok.

Invited Lectures/ Talks:

  • ‘Literary Research in Global Perspective’. Invite Ed talk at Riphah University. January 2020.
  • Speaker in Teachers Learning Association (TLA) Conference. Did a session on ‘Teaching Literature’ with school and university teachers. October, 2019
  •  ‘Gendered Religious Life and Resistance’, an invited talk delivered at University of Central Punjab (UCP) Lahore, January 2019.
  • “Benefits of Foreign Education”, an invited lecture delivered at English Department, University of Education, Lahore, hosted by Directorate of Student Counseling Centre in March, 2019.
  • ‘Muslim Women’s Agency”, an invited talk delivered at English Department, Punjab University, March 2019.
  • “Feminist Exegesis and Muslim Women’s Agency”, an invited talk delivered at LUMS Saida Waheed Gender Institute, October 2018.
  •  ‘Islamization and Muslim Women in Governance’, a lecture delivered at Lahore School of Economics (LSE), September 2018.
  • Panelist for the talk ‘Islamophobia in the Presidential Election’ which was a part of lecture series on ‘Teaching on racial and social justice’ at Buffalo State, The State University of New York. 2016
  • Guest lecture on Muslim women leaders for the seminar titled ‘Global Women’s Voices’ in the Department of Gender Studies, State University of New York, Buffalo. 2017
  • Moderator for talk on Malala Yousafzai’s memoir with Director Gender Institute, State University of New York, Buffalo. 2017