Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia

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The Program in Women’s & Gender Studies

The South Asia Forum at MIT

The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia


Cordially invite you to a panel discussion 


South Asian Women Resist

 Religious Fundamentalism, Imperialism, and The State in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan


Nusrat Chowdhury, Modhumita Roy, Afiya Zia

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Bldg 4-231 MIT


Afiya S. Zia is a feminist researcher and activist based in Karachi, Pakistan. She is author of ‘Sex Crime in the Islamic Context’, 1994; ‘Watching Them Watching Us’, 2001 (ASR, Pakistan), and has edited a series of books and contributed to scholarly journals. She is currently working on a book titled ‘Faith and Feminism in Pakistan’. She is an active member of Women’s Action Forum – a secular women’s rights organization in Pakistan and is an advisory board member of the Centre for Secular Space (UK). 


Nusrat Chowdhury is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College.  Her research focuses on the protest movement against open pit coal mining and everyday ethical negotiations in a place called Phulbari in northern Bangladesh. The confrontations between the state and the people, the intimacy of corruption and development, and the nature of democratic thought and practice in a country like Bangladesh make Phulbari a fecund site where discourses of political crisis and energy crisis intersect and shape each other.


Modhumita Roy is Associate Professor of English at Tufts University. She works on Anglophone literatures of Africa and the Africa Diaspora, South Asian Literature, Litertures of Empire, Post-colonial Theory, Feminist Theory, and Literary Theory.  Her article, "Some Like it Hot: Gender, Class and Empire in the Making of Mulligatawney Soup" was awarded the Sophie Coe Memorial Prize by the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, UK.  She is currently working on commercial surrogacy in India.


Event Open to Public