Originally from Pakistan, Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies, an open access journal that he founded in 2009. Besides teaching and writing about issues of postcoloniality, globalization, and political Islam, Raja also actively participates in the public debates through his public writing on his two blogs as well as other popular and scholarly websites.
Raja moved to the United States in 1996, after ten years of service in the Pakistan Army as an Infantry officer.Raja graduated with a Masters in literature from Belmont University in 2002, and earned his Ph.D. in Postcolonial Studies from Florida State University in 2006, where he studied with Robin Truth Goodman.
While at Belmont University, Raja was awarded the Graduate Writing Award and at Florida State he was awarded the Davis Award for Best Graduate Student and Davis Award for best dissertation in 2005 and 2006 respectively. A strong proponent of peace, social justice, and human rights, Raja hopes to foster a better understanding between his primary culture and rest of the world. Raja’s last monograph, Constructing Pakistan, (Oxford University Press, 2010), is an interesting explanation of the rise of Muslim national political identity during the British Raj and offers an innovative explanation of the genesis of the idea of Pakistan. Raja has also published extensively in his area of study and on general academic topics in various academic journals and anthologies.
Raja is also a member of the Advisory Committee (2009–12) of PMLA, the premier journal of literature and languages and was also recently elected to a five-year term on the Executive Committee of the South Asian Studies Group, Modern Language Association.Besides his academic and popular writings, Raja has also actively presented his views at academic conferences as well as through public talks.
Recently, Raja has also contributed his views on various issues related to the Islamic world and Pakistan to newspapers such as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on a story on Osama bin Laden and to Aljazeera English on a story about the Blasphemy law in Pakistan.Having recently won a million dollar grant from the US State Department, Raja is now also the Director of a partnership program between University of North Texas and the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.