TUESDAY, OCT 19, 2015 || 9:00AM || UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, SEATTLE
NIGHTINGALES OF PAKISTAN
Logline: Throughout Pakistan’s turbulent history as an Islamic state, its female singers have been both honored and reviled—but the song continues.
Fawzia Khan, Director
Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan is a Scholartivist: she combines her scholarship with her art as a singer, actor, playwright, poet, memoirist and, most recently, as a film producer, to create social change in the world. As Professor of English at Montclair State University, where she has taught for 30 years, she has been recognized for her prolific output by being named University Distinguished Scholar in 2009. She served as Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program from 2009-15, which she successfully led through a revision process to reshape it as the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, inaugurated as of Fall 2015.
She has published five books to date: two books of scholarly criticism, Cultural Imperialism: Genre and Ideology in the Indo-English Novel (Penn State Press 1993), and A Critical Stage: The Role of Secular Alternative Theatre in Pakistan (Seagull Press, 2005); one scholarly anthology entitled The PreOccupation of Postcolonial Studies (Duke University Press, 2000, co-edited with Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks), and a best-selling anthology pulling together the multi-genre writings of American Muslim women in the aftermath of 9/11, called Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out (Interlink Books 2005). Her memoir: Lahore with Love: Growing Up With Girlfriends Pakistani Style was published by Syracuse University Press in 2010, and subsequently reprinted after a lawsuit threat forced SUP to shut down publication.
Afzal-Khan is a trained vocalist in North Indian Classical music, a published playwright and poet, and has worked as an actor and performer for Ajoka Theatre Troupe of Pakistan, as well as with the experimental theatre collective Compagnie Faim de Siecle of which she was one of the founding members. Her one-woman show Scheherezade Goes West and plays Sext of Saudade (co-written with Annie Lanzillotto) and Jihad Against Violence (co-written with Bina Sharif) have been published in TDR (The Drama Review) and performed at universities and other venues in the USA as well as internationally; Jihad Against Violence: Oh ISIS Up Yours! will be produced by the Silk Road Rising Theatre Company in Chicago during their 2016-17 season.
She serves as Contributing Editor on TDR (The Drama Review) and is Founding Chair of the South Asian Feminist Caucus of NWSA (The National Women’s Studies Association of North America), where she has just completed 2 terms as a member of the Governing Council. She was recently named on the Editorial Advisory Board of a new peer-reviewed e-journal published by CUNY called Arab Stages.
She is currently working as Creative Director and Producer on a documentary film about Pakistani Female Singers, for which she won a development grant from the National Endowment o the Humanities in 2011. She has also been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to Pakistan for four months during AY 2015-16 to work on her book about Pakistani Women Singers.