Afshan Jafar

Afshan is originally from Pakistan. She came to the U.S. for her undergraduate and graduate studies (Ohio Wesleyan University and University of Massachusetts, Amherst respectively). She is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Connecticut College. Her research and teaching interests are globalization, transnational women’s movements, fundamentalist and nationalist movements, gender, and the body. Her first book, Womens NGOs in Pakistan (Palgrave Macmillan, August 2011) uncovers the overwhelming challenges facing women’s NGOs and examines the strategies used by them to ensure not just their survival but an acceptance of their messages by the larger public.

She lives in Connecticut, with her husband Michael and their two daughters, Aleena and Lilah.

She can be reached at ajafar@conncoll.edu

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Most Recent Articles

January 10, 2013
I am a sociologist. I teach some of those courses that many academics wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. One such course is Sex, Gender, and Society. I also teach other courses or segments of other courses that deal with sexuality, globalization, imperialism, wars, religion, sweatshops.  These are all difficult courses and topics to teach.  Many of my colleagues think I am a glutton for punishment for wanting to teach these courses (if these weren’t enough I just added Sociology of the Body and Embodiment to the list of courses I teach).
November 27, 2012
If you’re in academia, chances are you’ve spent some time thinking about and discussing student writing. You may have found yourself enraged at something, or laughing out loud, running to share the hilarity with the nearest living being. Maybe you scribbled it down somewhere, or perhaps it seared itself into your brain and never needed to be written down.
October 18, 2012
I am opting out. Not out of my career, but out of the educational system. I have a seven year old who started second-grade this year.  A few weeks into second-grade, we decided to finally act on a decision that’s been a long time coming. We decided we’re going to home-school her – at least for this year.
August 26, 2012
A hug. At its best it communicates affection, love, respect, admiration — a spontaneous expression of (positive) emotions. At other times, it’s an obligation — a turned cheek, a sloppy hand over a shoulder, a quick pat on the back and we move on, relieved to have put the encounter behind us.
July 29, 2012
Call me crazy, but I am not on Facebook. That’s strange for somebody my age and stranger still for somebody who belongs to a group of writers here at UVenus who are masters at using social media.
June 24, 2012
Aaahh. It’s evaluation season. Time for the tables to be turned on you. Yes, you, the professor. You thought you were being so clever by trying to institute some kind of an email policy: Telling your students not to email you at midnight and expect an answer before the 9 am class. You thought you were teaching your students responsibility by telling them not to wait until the night before to ask questions about their papers.
May 30, 2012
When three of my students approached me a couple of months ago to participate in a TEDx event, I balked. The students sent me a very well-organized folder with information about TED, some of the speakers already lined up, links to their favorite TED talks and then they set up a meeting with me. The event was in the middle of April. As many academics know, April is not a good month for us. The semester, at least for me, picks up like a roller coaster and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down for the end.
May 6, 2012
I’ll be honest with you. I read Mona Eltahawy’s piece, “Why Do They Hate Us?”  with quite a bit of aggravation. I am tired. I am tired and resentful of being put in the position of constantly having to bring nuance to a discussion like this. I am tired, as a Pakistani and an academic, of taking one step forward, two steps back. Of constantly having to tell people that gross generalizations, sweeping statements, and titillating pictures, don’t make the argument any more solid or acceptable, even when used by a “native”or “local” person.
March 18, 2012
Having been out of graduate school for several years now, it’s easy to forget sometimes that the advice we received in graduate school often did not match our reality or our preferences. I’ve written about the “publish or perish” emphasis and the lack of emphasis on teaching in most graduate programs.  There are other manifestations of this lopsided emphasis on research.
March 2, 2012
Afshan Jafar considers the similarities between starting a family and an academic career.

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