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Feminist Urdu Poetry: Protest, Activism, and Radical Writing

Monday, April 17, 2023 at 11:00am

Uris Hall, G08
Central Campus

Talk by Amina Yaqin (Associate Professor in World Literatures and Publishing, University of Exeter)

In this talk, I look back at the literary history of feminism in Urdu poetry through the voices of selected twentieth-century women poets. The aim is not to establish a canon of feminist poetry but to trace how voice and form were deployed by a range of poets, from Ada Jafri to Fahmida Riaz, to develop a new feminist aesthetic shaped by secular and sacred sensibilities. Their aesthetic is in dialogue with rekhti, the ghazal, the nazm, and a hybrid Islamicate culture across time and space, establishing agencies of protest, activism, and radical writing. Using an interdisciplinary methodology, I explore how the performative writings of Fahmida Riaz and Kishwar Naheed draw on their participation in community and civic life, shaping ideas of self and subjectivity beyond the personal.

Amina Yaqin is an Associate Professor of World Literatures and Publishing at the University of Exeter. Her major publications include Gender, Sexuality, and Feminism in Pakistani Urdu writingFraming Muslims: stereotyping and representation after 9/11 (co-authored with Peter Morey), and the co-edited Contesting Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Prejudice in Media, Culture and Politics. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. She has been a co-investigator on two externally funded research projects, Framing Muslims and Muslims, Trust and Cultural Dialogue, with multiple outputs, including edited books, special journal issues, policy briefings, and documentary films. Yaqin’s commentary and interviews have been aired by the BBC, SkyNews, EuroNews, TRT World, Indus News, and Pakistan Television Network. She has written for The National UAE, The Times Higher Education UK, the Daily Pioneer, the British Film Institute, and The Conversation.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


aaspcal, asianstudiescal, cashum, fgsscal



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