Alumni Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel: +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: zubair@spam


Professor Shirin Zubair joined the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Senior Fellow. She conducted her research in Research Unit 2 “Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Cooperation” from April to September 2014.

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.  

Research Interests

  • New Literacy Studies
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Feminism and Gender
  • English Studies in Pakistan

Current Projects

  • Situating Islamic Feminism(s): Lived Religion, Negotiations of Identities and Assertions of ‘Third Space’ by Muslim Women in Pakistan
  • Transnational Identities and Transcultural Flows in Classrooms: A Comparative Study of Learner’s Experiences of Reading English Literature in China and Pakistan
  • Language and Gender Socialization in early Childhood: An Ethnographic Study of Primary Schools in Southern Punjab, Pakistan


Since 2004 Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), Multan, Pakistan
Department of English
Full Professor
2009-2010 Lehigh University, USA
Adjunct Professor
2007 Central College Pella, Iowa, USA
Visiting Fulbright Professor
Since 1984 Bahauddin Zakariya University, Pakistan
Worked as Lecturer, Assistant, and Associate Professor

Selected Publications

Zubair, Shirin (2013): Co-constructing America and Pakistan: Hybridity in Pakistani English Fiction, Selected Papers from 4th International Conference 'Shifting Borders: America in the Middle East', American University of Beirut Press

Zubair, Shirin (2012): A Comparison of Students' English Language Class Rooms Anxiety in Single-Sex and Coeducational Schools, Language in India 12: 1930–2940

Zubair, Shirin (2011): Under Western Eyes: Deconstructing Colonial Representations in Shahraz’s The Holy Woman, in Kidwai & Siddiqui (eds.), The Holy and The Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz's Fiction, New Delhi: Sarup Publishers, 1–25

Zubair, Shirin (2010): Not Easily Put-Downable: Magazine Representations and Muslim Women's Identities in Southern Punjab, Pakistan, Feminist Formations 22 (3): 176–95

Zubair, Shirin (2009): Semiotics Ideology and Femininity in Popular Pakistani Women's Magazines, Hawwa Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Islamic World 7 (3): 229–248

Zubair, Shirin (2008): The Grammar of Visual Design: Semiotics in Popular Pakistani Women's Magazines, Inter-Disciplinary.Net Vol: 2nd Global Conference on Visual Literacies Session 9: Language Facets of the Visual (online conference proceedings)

Zubair, Shirin (2007): Silent Birds: Metaphorical Constructions of Literacy and Identity in Women's Talk, Discourse Studies 9 (6): 766–83

Zubair, Shirin (2006): Women English Literature and Identity Construction in Southern Punjab, Pakistan, Journal of South Asian Development, Sage 1 (1): 249–71

Zubair, Shirin (2005): Just a Time-pass: Acknowledgement/Denial (?) of Sexual Harassment in Young Women's Discourse, Hawwa: Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Islamic World 3 (2): 195–215

Zubair, Shirin (2004): Qualitative Methods in Researching Women’s Literay: A Case Study, in Robinson Pant (ed.), Women, Literacy and Development: Alternative Perspectives, Routledge, 85–99

Zubair, Shirin (2003): Literacies Across Generations: Women's Religious and Secular Identities in Seraiki Villages, South Asia Research 23 (2): 135–51

Zubair, Shirin (2003): Women's Critical Literacies in a Pakistani Classroom, Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education 10 (2): 163–73

Zubair, Shirin (2001): Literacies, Gender and Power in Rural Pakistan, in Brian Street (ed.), Literacy and Development: Ethnographic Perspectives, Routledge, 188–204

Zubair, Shirin (1999): Women's Literacy in a Rural Pakistani Community,  Teresa O'Brien (ed.), BAAL Languages and Literacies 14: 114–125 (Conference Publications)

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Modern Critical Theory (MPhil , Designed and taught 2012), Dept. of English, BZU
  • Women’s Writings (PhD, designed and taught 2010), Dept. of English, BZU
  • Postmodern Literature (MPhil, designed and taught 2010), Dept. of English, BZU
  • 2009: External examiner for evaluation and viva examination for PhD thesis, Dept. of English, Peshawar University
  • 2007: External examiner for evaluation, public defence and viva examination of PhD proposal, Institute of Education, Agha Khan University, Karachi
  • Language, Gender and Society (PhD, designed and taught 2008), Dept. of English,BZU
  • Literacy Studies (PhD, designed and taught 2008), Dept. of English, BZU
  • Contemporary Political Issues of South Asia and the Middle East (BA, Designed and taught 2009 Fall Semester, International Relations Dept.), Lehigh University, US

Expertise and Consulting Work

  • Since 2007: Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Alam-e-Niswan, Pakistan ,Journal of Women Studies, University of Karachi, Pakistan
  • Since 2011: Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Law and Social Research, Gillani Law College, BZU, Multan, Pakistan
  • 2010: Reviewer for Journal of Development Studies, Routledge: London
  • 2010: Reviewer for Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Taylor & Francis: London
  • 2008: Member, National Curriculum Revision Committee, BS (4yr), MS (2yr) English, Higher Education Commission
  • 2004: Reviewer for International Journal of Educational Development, Sage
  • 2000—2004: Editor, Journal of Research, Faculty of Languages, BZU, Multan
  • 1991—1994: Associate Editor, Pakistan Journal of Language, BZU, Multan

Seminars and Conferences

  • 2013: Workshop/Seminar: "Reflexivity and Identity in Qualitative Research: A Case Study from Pakistan", Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures & Societies, Freie Universitat, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013: Paper: "Willingly Trapped in Chains: Young, Urban Middle Class Pakistani Women in Higher Education", Gender & Education Biannial Conference 2013, London South Bank University, 22-26 March
  • 2012: Paper: "Negotiating Multiple Identities: Pakistani Women Speak on Media Representations as Sites of Continuity and Change ", International Conference on Religion, Science & Technology: Contexts of Change, Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondhiem, Norway, 12 March
  • 2012: "Co-constructing America and Pakistan: Hybridity in Pakistani English Fiction", 4th International Conference: Shifting Borders: America and the Middle East, CASAR, American University Beirut, 11-14 January
  • 2012: "Learning Transcultural Literacies: Transgressive Theories and Transcultural Flows in ELT Curriculum and Classrooms in Pakistan", 28th SPELT International Conference at OPF Girls College, F-8 Islamabad
  • 2010: Seminar: "Representations of Pakistani Identity in Pakistan English Language Textbooks", University of East Anglia, UK
  • 2008: " Language and Gender: Implications for ELT in Pakistan", 24th SPELT International Conference at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
  • 2006: "Qualitative Methods in Researching Women's Literacy: A Case Study", Multidisciplinary International Conference on Qualitative Research in Developing Countries: Opportunities and Challenges, University of Karachi
  • 2002: Keynote Speaker for the session: "Critical Literacy for Critical Times Title:Women’s Critical Literacies in a Pakistani Classroom", NCTE International Conference: Celebrating the Languages & Literacies in our Lives Atlanta, USA


  • June-November 2013: Senior Research Fellow, Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures & Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • 2010: Visiting Scholar: Department of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK
  • 2009: Scholar Rescue Fellowship, Institute of International Education, New York, US
  • 2007: Fulbright Visiting Specialists Teaching Fellowship, Central College, Iowa, US
  • 2005: Charles Wallace Fellowship, British Council, Swansea University, UK
  • 2002: Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship in Linguistics, University of Texas, US

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