British Association for South Asian Studies

News & Events

27 June 2019

Event Pakistan Seminar

Despite the millennia old roots of its lands, its large population of over two hundred million, strategic location at the cusp of South, Central and West Asia, the study of Pakistan is still underdeveloped and remains mired with several problems. First, the study of Pakistan suffers from a singular focus on its military and, in the last couple of decades, its extremism and terrorism issues. While these topics are certainly important, the bulk of research on these themes fails to appreciate other elements of the Pakistan polity which complicate and nuance this narrative. Secondly, the existence of a larger neighbour—India, overshadows the study of Pakistan—as well as other south Asian countries, whenever a ‘South Asia’ framework is used. Thirdly, the social sciences have very recently remerged as a major scholarly endeavour in Pakistan and so scholarship on the country is still at a developing stage.
This ‘Pakistan Seminar’ aims to reshape the discourse on Pakistan by bringing together senior scholars, early career researchers, and advanced PhD/MPhil students for a day of intensive dialogue and discussion. The Seminar aims to achieve several aims: first, it hopes to provide an opportunity for senior and junior scholars to interact and learn from each other. The availability of critical peer review is a central objective of the seminar. Secondly, the seminar will be a place for cross-disciplinary conversations on Pakistan. The primary focus on Pakistan as a security state can only be reshaped through interdisciplinary approaches and discussion. Thirdly, this Seminar will provide a space for a further germination of new research on Pakistan through networking and research links. There are several areas of research which still remain understudied or even unexplored, and so this Seminar provides a platform for the presentation of new, cutting edge and innovative research.
The Pakistan Seminar therefore encourages submissions from all fields of the social sciences and humanities which focus on Pakistan or on the lands now forming Pakistan. Especially encouraged are papers which deal with issues which are under researched in the field and which are interdisciplinary in nature.

Confirmed speakers include a keynote by Professor Faisal Devji (Oxford), and papers by Professor Tariq Rahman (BNU Lahore), Professor Yunas Samad (Bradford/LUMS), and several other Pakistan specialists.

Application Process
We would especially welcome papers from early career researchers and advanced PhD/MPhil students who would benefit the most from such a seminar.

To apply to present a paper, please send a 200-word abstract together with a short cv/bio to: with the title of the seminar in the subject line, by July 19, 2019. The seminar committee will assess the abstracts and reply within two days.

Registration for the conference is 15 pounds, which includes lunch and tea.
Registration is to be done online with payment paid through online transfer/cheque before the seminar.