Conference looks beyond mainstream representations of Pakistan

Pakistan conference partial poster

Looking beyond mainstream, popular representations of Pakistan to a more nuanced understanding of the country and its people is the goal of a three-day conference taking place at York, the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.

Pakistan conference posterThe Pakistan Beyond Tremors and Terror: Critical Engagements with Political, Economic and Cultural Change conference will take place May 29 to 30. Day one of the conference will be held in the Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson College, York’s Keele campus; day two will be in Hart House Debates Room, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto; and the third day in the Library Lecture Theatre, 350 Victoria St., Ryerson University. The conference is free and open to everyone.

Some 24 papers by scholars and students will be presented at eight panels on everything from law, neoliberalism, gender, labour movements, cinema, urban space and imperialism to provide a space to critically analyze the political, cultural and economic changes in Pakistani society.

The conference will challenge some of the mainstream views of the country and its people made popular in the general media by bringing scholars and students together whose research explores a more complex understanding of Pakistan and its people.

Professor Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, who teaches political economy and sociology at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, will deliver the first keynote Thursday at York – “Failed State or Fragmented Hegemony? The Political Economy of Change in Contemporary Pakistan.”

Sociology Professor Saadia Toor of the City University of New York will deliver the second keynote lecture, “Politics After Neoliberalism in Pakistan.”

The conference will wrap up with a screening of the documentary Wounds of Waziristan at Ryerson University, with an introduction by the film’s director Madiha Tahir, followed by a panel discussion. Tahir is an independent journalist, a PhD candidate at Columbia University and editor-in-chief of Tanqeed.

The conference is co-organized with the York Centre for Asian Research, United South Asians at York, the Pakistan Development Fund at the University of Toronto and Tanqeed, a quarterly e-zine.

For more information, including panels and speakers, visit the Pakistan Beyond Tremors and Terror conference website.