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

October 24, 2011
Those of us who have been, or are, in graduate school have come across this mantra: publish or perish. What is important about this phrase is not only the unrelenting pressure it puts on graduate students and early career faculty to publish, but the unspoken lack of emphasis it places on teaching
September 27, 2011
Photo: Afshan Jafar Afshan Jafar
August 24, 2011
Photo: Afshan Jafar Afshan Jafar It’s hunting season! Those of us in the academic world know that August marks the start of the job hunt. So, in a small attempt to ease some of the stress and uncertainty of looking for a job in academia these days, let me introduce the cast of characters you are likely to meet during the tragicomedy that is The Job Hunt.   Setting  
July 19, 2011
Photo: Afshan Jafar Afshan Jafar Dear Anonymous,
June 16, 2011
Until I came to college in the United States, all my schooling had been in Pakistan, in schools that followed a British system of education (our colonial legacy). This had some interesting implications for the student-teacher relationship in these schools. To put it simply: we feared our teachers. Although there were some exceptions to this, especially across different grade-levels and types of institution, it held true as a general rule.
May 17, 2011
I am willing to bet I can pin-point one common source of frustration for academics: that we are perceived as having an easy life, or not really working a full-time job. Just the other day somebody, not in academia, talked at length about how my situation is ideal: I only work a few days a week and have the summers “off”. To add insult to injury, he concluded with comparing my job as a full-time tenure-track professor to having a part-time job with flexible hours!
April 14, 2011
My older daughter, who is in kindergarten, is one of the gentlest souls I know. She goes around our house picking lady bugs off the floor and putting them on window sills so that we don’t crush them when we walk. A few days ago, while in the girls’ bathroom at school, she was kicked by another girl, between her legs. As soon as it happened, my daughter went screaming to the teacher and told her what had happened. Thankfully my daughter was fine, after a visit to the nurse’s office and an ice pack.
March 17, 2011
I like tigers. The animal, that is, not the human variety that has cropped up lately. Amy Chua’s book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom” has gotten a lot of attention in the press for the shocking admissions of her parenting style. I won’t discuss her parenting here. But since she is a professor at Yale Law School, her book made me wonder: what is she like in the classroom?
February 20, 2011
Ever see this clip from Seinfeld? It captures how we all feel about telemarketers calling us at home. Now if only I could figure out a way to get this message across to my students. No, they haven’t called me at home (probably because I haven’t made my number public) but they email me – constantly. They email me at midnight, 3 am, 6 am, while I’m on vacation, and while we’re on semester break.
January 16, 2011
I see the change in some of my first-year college students as the semester progresses. The once energetic, curious, wide-eyed faces start to develop dark circles around their eyes. They come and tell me they’re staying up late, that they feel overwhelmed, under pressure, uninspired, alienated. What kind of students are these? Contrary to what you may be quick to conclude, they are some of my best! And I’m lucky enough to have some fantastic students.

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