Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair

Alumni Senior Fellow

Research Project at the Centre

Language and  (Trans)Cultural Identity: Deconstructing Colonial Discourses of English in Postcolonial Pakistan

My project explores linkages, interconnectivity and conflicts across linguistic, cultural and literary boundaries. Situated within the field of Postcolonial Studies and Applied Linguistics, it focuses on the teaching of English in contemporary Pakistan as a colonial legacy with which people have an ambivalent love-hate relationship; it highlights the interconnections of English  language and culture with indigenous cultures and languages by capturing the cultural conflicts and issues of identity as people aspire to learn English  but simultaneously view it  as  bearer of colonialism, Western cultural values and identity.  Traditionally, teaching of English in the Sub-Continent meant teaching of canonical British literature which was read and enjoyed by the elite; and a good command of English was a passport to lucrative jobs. However, in the recent decades there have been significant shifts, some of which are: a number of Pakistani writers have emerged on the literary horizons who produce creative writing of a hybridized nature using English to write back to the centre; as a higher education subject English has become ghettoised and feminized.  


April – September 2014