Dr. Yasmin Saikia part of 3 YR Grant to Foster Global Engagement in Pakistan

Dr. Yasmin Saikia is the co-primary investigator for an academic exchange program with and Kinnaird College, a 100-year-old women’s college in Lahore, Pakistan. The three-year project is being funded by a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of State through its Pakistan embassy and overseen by ASU’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict in collaboration with the Department of English.

The exchange program will involve faculty and students in English and American literature at ASU and Kinnaird College. The project’s aims are to globalize research and teaching of American literature and to empower Pakistani women to become leaders and agents of change in academia as well as the larger society.

Nadia Anjum, head of the post-graduate program in English at Kinnaird, initiated the project this October with a visit to ASU. She returned to Pakistan with her head “loaded with project ideas,” she said. Anjum’s visit will be followed by a visit to Pakistan by the ASU team in spring 2014. While there, working with Kinnaird faculty and administrators, the team will carry out a series of workshops and initiate a comprehensive needs assessment. Kinnaird and ASU teams will jointly create an action plan to address the needs of the college and individual teachers and researchers in its American literature program.

A scholars-in-residence program, affording Kinnaird College faculty and graduate students to attend ASU for up to a full semester is the centerpiece of the project. While at ASU, the Kinnaird scholars will build collaborative relationships with ASU scholars, develop research ideas into publishable papers and shape new courses in American literature.

ASU faculty and graduate students will also travel to Pakistan to spend several weeks at Kinnaird, teaching specialized courses. While there, they will also participate in workshops and roundtable discussions with Pakistani colleagues at Kinnaird that will also include faculty from other academic institutions in Lahore. The discussions will be focused on such common themes as border and migration studies, global feminism and women in academia, pedagogy in a digital age and scholarly publishing.

A final component of the project will be to provide new library resources for the Kinnaird College American literature program and a project website. The latter will enable exchanges between U.S. and Pakistan participants to continue beyond the three-year term of the grant.

For More information regarding this project, please see the full ASU News Story by Barby Grant here.