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Conferences & Workshops in Pakistan 2010-2011

Tehrik-e-Niswan: Tees aur Aik Saal

A conference in Karachi to celebrate 31 years of Tehrik-e-Niswan
24-26 December, 2010

To explore the interconnections between performance art and the politics of gender and class, participants from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan demonstrated how the cultural forms of theatre, dance, music, film and the fine arts have been used to advocate for gender and class equity.

Conference Website

News Coverage of the Conference

Cultural Heritage Issues in Pakistan: Archaeology, Museums and Conservation

January 6-8, 2011
Margala Hotel, Islamabad

Sponsored by the American Institute of Pakistan Studies with support from the US Embassy, Islamabad.

In collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums Ministry of Culture, Government of Pakistan.

The Cultural Heritage of Pakistan is rich and diverse, with significant potential for further research, conservation and tourism development. This conference has been organized to enhance the national and international profile of Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage by bringing together US and Pakistani scholars who will present papers on a wide range of topics. The main goal of this conference will be to highlight the important new archaeological discoveries made over the past ten years, by both Pakistani and foreign scholars, The conference will also have sessions with speakers who will discuss how museums and site management can become more focused on outreach and education, and to present new and innovative ways to conserve both sites and artifacts. Additional topics to be considered will be how to manage cultural heritage in the face of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and man-made disasters such as bombings and attacks by people trying to destroy cultural heritage.

Twenty-six leading scholars from Pakistan and ten from the US have been invited to present their new findings. All of these scholars have been involved in recent excavations and research on earlier excavations. The presenters have been selected by a steering committee made up of US and Pakistani scholars. This conference will be a chance for Pakistani and US scholars who have spent considerable time in Pakistan to exchange ideas on the major issues of Cultural Heritage research, preservation, conservation and education. Students from universities throughout Pakistan will be able to attend the conference and see the importance of cultural heritage. Most important will be the fact that the conference will be held in Islamabad and that members of the various ministries of Education, Culture and Tourism can attend to find out what the most important issues are. The conference will result in a significant edited volume that will be printed in Pakistan in order to make it available to the local schools and universities. In this way the results of the conference will be disseminated widely within the country as well as internationally.

Conference Report

Conference Program

6th Annual Humanities and Social Sciences Conference

Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan: March 25 - 27, 2011

The Annual HSS Conference is both a unique and ideal arena to promote intellectual enterprise, endorsing cooperation with experts from across the world. While there is an established tradition of global exchanges at the state and organizational levels within Pakistan, nonetheless we feel that academic exchanges are not as well established. Therefore, we hope to bridge this gap and create new academic links that can be sustained beyond this conference and develop expertise, skills and knowledge that are necessary in planning and dealing with future natural or human led disasters.

Pre-Conference Report

Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan

Islamabad, May 6-7, 2011

This conference brought together scholars, policymakers and practitioners concerned with development and social transformation in Pakistan to forge a substantive understanding of the structural impediments that affect Pakistan’s ability to eliminate poverty, promote social justice, achieve its economic goals, and implement policies to promote equity and political cohesiveness. The conference will analyze the linkages between Pakistan’s development goals, local institutions, the state’s legal framework, and prospects for sustainable futures in a variety of arenas in Pakistan. It will not focus on pragmatic development challenges such as where to put in new schools, how to introduce new hybrid seeds or new systems of local governance. Instead, the conference has the dual goals of (a) creating a sound understanding of the processes that will shape Pakistan’s future and (b) develop practical recommendations for a strategy on institutional transformation to help Pakistan achieve its development agenda.

The global community concerned with development and social transformation has identified and analyzed ‘structural impediments’ that constrain countries’ efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable social development. The UNDP, in launching its Millennium Development Goals, contends that there are “practical, proven solutions” to breaking out of the poverty traps that entangle poor countries, such as “investing in human development,” increasing agricultural productivity, emphasizing human rights and social equity through democratic governance, and promoting environmental sustainability by improving urban management. Such rhetoric, however, is difficult to translate into realistic, practical applied programs. In Pakistan, in particular, there has been limited substantive research to identify the prevailing unique blend of structural impediments to development.

Indeed, Pakistan’s prospects to promote viable, sustainable social development appear bleaker today than a decade ago. This conference, therefore, seeks to rectify this void by analyzing Pakistani institutions (e.g., the economy, legal infrastructure, the changing contours of violent conflict, women’s status and rights, agricultural transformation) to anticipate what could be changed to promote more productive interactions between them to facilitate Pakistan’s achievement of its development goals. Policy makers and development professionals will be able to attend the conference and see the importance of a robust understanding of the institutional foundations of the development work in which many are engaged. Most important will be the fact that the conference will be held in Islamabad and that members of various Pakistani ministries (Planning, Education, Economic Affairs, Food and Agriculture) and ODA donors (World Bank, ADB, USAID, DFID) can attend to improve their understanding of how these issues are interconnected.

The conference will result in two publications: (a) a significant edited volume that will be printed in Pakistan to make it available to local schools, universities, donor agencies, and international actors present in Pakistan. In this way the results of the conference will be disseminated widely within the country as well as internationally. The final papers will be due by the end of June so that publication can proceed rapidly. The basic editing will be done by Weiss and one Pakistani scholar and published in Pakistan; and (2) a conference overview. The latter will contain an Executive Summary of the conference, abstracts of all papers, and recommendations for a strategy on institutional transformation to facilitate Pakistan’s achievement of its development agenda. This will be disseminated quickly to various stakeholders (Pakistani policymakers, ODA donors, US embassy personnel, and others) working in the arena of Pakistan’s development prospects.

Abstracts and Speakers' Biodata
Table of contents for upcoming volume from this conference.
Talk by Aitzaz Ahsan

Media coverage of this event.


Women's Studies Conference

August 27-28, 2011

Centre for Excellence in Gender Studies

Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

Conference Steering Committee: Professor Anita M. Weiss, University of Oregon; Dr. Farzana Bari, Quaid-e-Azam University; Nasreen Aslam Shah, University of Karachi; Dr. Anis Haroon, National Commission on the Status of Women

This two-day conference seeks to bring together a wide range of scholars and practitioners to explore women’s changing roles, status and rights in Pakistan today.  It seeks to explore the synergy between such changes occurring at the national policy level with the reality of women’s lives at the local level.

Importantly, too, in bringing together scholars and practitioners, it hopes to develop a corpus of knowledge that can be published in the Journal of Feminist Studies (Quaid-e-Azam University), the Journal of Women’s Studies (University of Karachi), and other publishing venues.

A total of six panels are planned: one each morning and two each afternoon. The steering committee has identified topics around which these panels will be organized, including one that celebrates Fifty Years of the MFLO. One distinguished scholar or policymaker, either from Pakistan or the U.S., is being invited to participate on each panel. The remainder of the participant slots will be filled through responses to this Call for Papers.

Each of the panels intends to engage participants not only in describing and analyzing women’s involvement with the subject at hand, but also in thinking about movement and change.  The six panels are entitled as:

  1. Navigating Systems of Law & Justice
  2. Moving Past Conflict and Disaster
  3. Creating Real Democracy
  4. Learning from Women’s Indigenous Knowledge
  5. Engendering Pakistan’s Economy: Women’s Economic Emergence
  6. Celebrating Fifty Years of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (MFLO)

Conference Program

Suggestions for Publishing Women’s Studies Research