Announcements Commentaries

Publishing a Kindle Writing Guide

Recently, I wrote a series of blogs about academic publishing in humanities. These articles did not dwell much on the nitty gritty details of writing but on specific strategies of planning, writing, submitting and publishing a paper.

After I finished writing the four article series, I decided to also make it available on Kindle. I had never used the Amazon publishing platform before, so I was slightly apprehensive. The whole process, however, went really smoothly.

Since I already had a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, all I had to do was to log in and create an entry for the new project.

After that, it was a matter of filling up the metadata, and uploading the word file. I used Amazon’s cover generator and used a freely provided stock picture.

KDP first requires you to prepare files for a Print on Demand (POD) book and they will transform your word file to appropriate size and format.

After you have uploaded and finished the POD book, you get the option to create a Kindle version.

I prepared both. While the POD is still being reviewed (Note: the print book had to be 24 pages or more) my kindle version is already alive!!

Overall, this has been a good experience in sharing my public writings with a wider audience.

Announcements Commentaries

My Planned Talk at University of Lahore

In a couple of days I will travel to the historic town of Lahore to give a culminating Keynote address at a conference being organized by the English department of University of Lahore.

Entailed Geographies of Resistance: Literature, Language, Culture, this conference has the following general theme:

Since the middle of the twentieth century, resistance in literature, language and culture has been closely associated with the anti-colonial and national liberation movements in the Global South. The neoliberal globalization wih its attendant economic and socio-political ideologies, however, transforms registance to a more global form. Geopgraphics of Resistance:Literature,Language and Culture seeks to explore how resistance is reconfigured in contemporary aesthetics, linguistics, and cultural practices of contemporary forms of globalization. The conference aims to explore not only the various forms of resistance but also investigates the interrelation of all aspects that make up culture including class, race, gender, media, language and power. Discussions may focus on how these elements traverse the spaces of resistance that tend to counter late modern globalization, which is largely responsible for national and trasnational conflicts, socio-economic inequalities, and ecological disasters. In addition to sites of resistance, the conference hopes to highlight discourse on the coercive and repressive policies of neoliberal practices in the Global South.

I consider it a great honor to be invited to give a talk and I hope that my words and thoughts would be of some use to the audience.

I will be speaking about the role of humanistic education in shaping our individual and collective subjectivities in contemporary times.

I have always maintained that a truly humanistic education, when delivered through an informed pedagogy, can help us educate our students to be more compassionate, generous, and caring. Of course, these are not my ideas: many a philosopher and theorist have argued for this kind of regard for our local and global others.

Similarly, many scholars in my own field have argued that humanities can perform this function of “training the imagination” (Spivak) of our students.

So, in this talk I will mostly focus on critical pedagogy, for without an informed pedagogy humanities are not likely to deliver on any of their transformative possibilities.

This is just a brief note to share the news about this exciting conference. I will post a detailed account of the event after my visit.


Coming Soon, My New Book

Just wanted to share that my book on ISIS will be published this month. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Relying on a thorough understanding of the role of ideology, discourse, and framing, this volume discusses ISIS as an Islamist ideological organization, and examines its philosophical scaffolding within the material conditions produced by neoliberal capital. As Raja asserts, it is this nexus of specifically retrieved Islamic history and the current global economic system that creates the kind of social identity ideally suited for ISIS. The combination of the historical narratives and the contemporary means of communication enables ISIS to frame and spread its message, recruit its adherents, and replicate itself.

While many scholarly and journalistic works on ISIS provide a wealth of information, not many elaborate on the terms that are often invoked in these writings. For example, scholars often use the term “Salafi-Jihadi” but they do not provide a comprehensive explanation of such concept within the same text. This book not only provides an explanation of the instructive terms used to explain the ISIS phenomenon, but also asserts that only one school of thought in Islam [The Sunni Wahabis] is likely to be the ideal target for ISIS recruitment. This claim, of course, does not rely on an essentialized pathology of Wahabi Sunnis, but provides an explanation of the Wahabi Islam as a proverbial “slippery slope”, as an absolutely necessary first step for an individual’s transformation into an ISIS fighter.

Written in a clear and direct style, this volume provides scholars and lay readers alike with a deeper understanding of ISIS and its strategies of recruitment and self-sustenance.


While the book is a bit expensive for individual buyers, I would be grateful if you could recommend it to your institutional libraries.



Welcome to My Podcasts

This is just a welcome message to the future podcasts of Cross Cultural Conversations

Welcome to My Podcasts


Pakistaniaat: CFP for Special Issue on English Language Pakistani Literature

Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies

CFP for a special issue on English-Language Pakistani Literature

Co-editors: Dr. Cara Cilano, Professor, Department of English, Michigan State University & Dr. Aroosa Kanwal, Assistant Professor, Department of English, International Islamic University

This special issue of Pakistaniaat seeks to forge new critical insights into the now well-established field of English-language literature in Pakistan. The co-editors invite analyses and theorizations of moments, trends, oeuvres, and writerly or readerly generations that push beyond received interpretations of individual texts, the diasporic in relation to the nation, or, most fundamentally, the antagonistic position of English as a language in Pakistani political, cultural, and literary contexts.

Well-researched and argued contributions may address, for instance, how writing and reading in English amidst Pakistan’s multi-lingual cultures are metaphorical acts of translation. That is, how do literary works originally written in English negotiate Pakistan’s multi-lingual realities? How does English interconnect with regional literary traditions and practices? What influences circulate, including those from Urdu, Persian, and Sufi traditions, on English-language literature? How do questions of difference or connectedness—be they in terms of class, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc.—get born across these multiple linguistic practices when viewed comparatively and constitutively? Understanding “translation” more broadly, how does Pakistani English-language literary production engage with histories, be they subcontinental, national, regional, or folk? To what archives does the literature contribute and from which does it draw? How do such literary texts re-cast what archives and historical knowledge are? What do we learn when we look at literary texts as themselves stretched across historical moments and geographical locations? What critical accumulations occur through interpretations, marketing, teaching, and other forms of reception? With a view to broader cultural dynamics, how does English-language Pakistani literature work to translate places, histories, injustices, triumphs, or inequities for its readers? In other words, in what ways does literary culture as exemplified in English-language Pakistani literature address/redress the materialities of our lives?

Please submit 6000-10000 word essays to both Drs. Kanwal ( and Cilano ( by May 1, 2018. All submissions should follow MLA formatting guidelines and should have not been published previously.

Announcements Uncategorized

Pakistaniaat Publishing Again

Dear All:

I just wanted to share the news that Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies will start publishing regularly from January 2018 onward. Due to various personal and professional reasons, we had put the journal on a long hiatus, but now, after reconfiguring our editorial team and after updating our software, we hope to start our regular publication soon.

while we will continue to solicit scholarly and creative writings about Pakistan, we have made only one major change in our publication schedule:

Beginning 2018 we will publish one continuous annual volume of the journal. The articles submitted, reviewed, and accepted will move through our editorial process and will be added to the running issue as they are finalized. Thus, our annual volume will continue to grow over the calendar year. Each volume will be closed at the end of the year. This will make sure that your submissions are published and available as soon as they clear the editorial process.


Please visit the journal website, create an account, and submit your writings.

We are also looking for dedicated members for our editorial staff; if you would like to join our team, please feel free to contact the editor.

Thank you all so much. We are looking forward to your support!!


اردو کالم پر آپ کی رائے

جیسا کہ میں نے ایک دوسری بلاگ انٹری میں کہا، میں نے اپنی تمام غیر تعلیمی تحریریں اب اس ویبسائٹ پر جمع کر دی ہیں۔ اب میرا ارادہ ہے کہ میں گاہِ بگاہِ اردو میں بھی اپنی سوچ اور خیالات اپنے پاکستانی قارئین کے ساتھ شئیر کروں۔ گو کہ میری اردو کچھ اتنی اچھی نہیں پر میرا خیال ہے کہ آج کل کے حالات میں اردو میں لکھنا بہت اہم ہے۔

اس بارے میں آپکی رائے اور خیالات میرے لئے بہت اھمییت رکھتےھیں۔ براہِ کرم نیچے کمنٹ سیکشن میں اپنی آرا ضرور دیجیے۔




Place for my Public Writings

Dear friends. From now on I will be using this site ( as the main site for my public writings. Since I write on topics as varied as Pakistan, US politics, and the Pokemon Go, please bear with me as I develop this site into a sort of my online home.

Since Donald Trump got elected, I have been mostly quiet on my blogs. I just needed enough time to think through my response to this atrocious fact of our global political life. I will now start writing regularly on issues related to Pakistan,  the US politics, political Islam, postcolonial studies, and, occasionally, on some lighter topics. I do hope you all will join me in making this website a constant and steady voice against the powers that be wherever they may reside!!!

Announcements Editorials

Happy Birthday: Pakistan Forum

Today is the third birthday of The Pakistan Forum, which was launched under the title “Pakistaniaat Forum” as a blog affiliated with Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies. Not surprisingly, our first ever blog post was about the journal:

Pakistaniaat Call for Submissions–December Issue

That issue was successfully published and since then we have published four more issues of Pakistaniaat. The blog has now taken a life form of its own. From simple announcements to a few occasional commentaries from me, The Pakistan Forum has now become a multiauthor blog that also features a blog aggregation page, a link exchange page, and, the most important, features writings by more than twelve contributors. We promise to continue doing our best in the field of Pakistan studies and in our general engagement with issues related to Pakistan. In the last two years, we have published 442 blog entries, have received 326 comments from our readers, and more than 80, 000 unique visitors have visited our blog during this time.

Please accept our thanks and do visit us, read our posts, and share your thoughts with us. We are honored to be of service to Pakistan and its people.

Announcements Editorials

Pakforum: Our Link Exchange Service

Image via Wikipedia

We have now added a link exchange service to our blog. Reciprocal link exchange with related websites is considered one of the best ways to establish your website and to enhance your search engine rankings. We would be delighted to consider your requests to link with us.

Please visit our Add Your Link page to send in your request. While there, please make sure to follow all instructions. After your link has been approved, it will be listed on our Links page.

Thank you so much and please pass the word about this to your blogger friends.