Writing & its Discontent: Sabyn Javeri on Hijabistan

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:00pm
Facebook Live

Speaker: Dr. Sabyn Javeri

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/genderatlums/videos/368138214527257

How do Pakistani Muslim women in different parts of the world negotiate and contest vital social and political questions of their place in urban society? How do they interpret expectations of the maternal ideal, of the primary caregiver, of the silenced and the marginalized, of the empowered and outspoken? And how are their identities complicated by the privilege of class, race, citizenship, heterosexuality and the question of the ‘feminine’? In this talk, Dr. Sabyn discusses how the idea for her book originated, the process of writing the book, and finally, its reception. The speaker focuses on her experience of writing stories which subvert traditional expectations of gendered norms and of crossing boundaries of self-censorship and voicing experience. Her talk explores the responsibility and ethics of representing “true” material from life history or observation, and the reception of a woman writer’s work.


Speaker Bio:

Dr. Sabyn Javeri teaches writing at New York University, Abu Dhabi. She is the author of 'Hijabistan' (Harper Collins, 2019) and the novel 'Nobody Killed Her' (Harper Collins, 2017) and has edited two anthologies of student writing titled, 'The Arzu Anthology of Student Voices' (HUP, 2019, 2018). Her writings have been published in the South Asian Review, London Magazine, Wasafiri, Oxonian Review, Trespass, and World Literature, amongst other publications, and she writes a monthly column for 3Quarks Daily on gender and identity. Her work has been widely anthologized in collections by OUP, Harper Collins, Women Unlimited, and The Feminist Press. She has won the Oxonian Review short story prize and has been shortlisted for the Tibor Jones, Meridian, Leaf Books, JLF, Adab and Publishing Next awards. She has a Masters from the University of Oxford and a doctorate from the University of Leicester. Her research interests include transnational feminism, South Asian literature and creative writing.

Discussant Bio:

Dr. Nida Kirmani is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Nida has published widely on issues related to gender, Islam, women’s movements, development and urban studies in India and Pakistan. She completed her PhD in 2007 from the University of Manchester in Sociology. Her book, Questioning ‘the Muslim Woman’: Identity and Insecurity in an Urban Indian Locality, was published in 2013 by Routledge. Her current research focuses on urban violence, gender and insecurity in the area of Lyari in Karachi.