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Poetic Traditions from the Subcontinent

  • Centre for Stories 100 Aberdeen Street Northbridge, WA, 6003 Australia (map)
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This series explores the rich tradition of poetry from Pakistan and India examining how poets became historians, journalists, entertainers, and even revolutionaries, forming the fabric of society. It is aimed at a greater understanding of cultures rich in thought and expression, and often unfamiliar to western audiences.


In this session Associate Professor Samina Yasmeen will discuss the poetry written for Begum Sarfraz.

Begum Sarfraz Iqbal (1939-2003) patronised Urdu literature in Pakistan and was recognised for it by renowned poets and writers. This session focuses on a selection of poems written on her including those by Faiz, Faraz, Muneer Niazi, Rashid Nisar and Akram Zaki. It will shed light on how a woman carved a space for herself in a male-dominated society during the second half of the 20th century in Pakistan, and the social/political undercurrents of the time.


Associate Professor Samina Yasmeen is the Director at the Centre for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia, Perth.

She teaches courses on Islam and international politics. She has also worked as Executive Director of the Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies at UWA and Curtin Universities (1995), a Research Specialist in Defence at the Legislative Research Service of the Australian Parliament (1985) and Senior Research fellow in a UNESCO-funded project at the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan (1977-79).

Dr Yasmeen is a specialist in political and strategic developments in South Asia, and the role of Islam in world politics.

She has published articles on the position of Pakistani and Middle Eastern women, the role of Muslims in Australia, and Indo-Pakistan relations.

Her current research focuses on the role of Islamic groups in Pakistan's foreign policy. She is a regular commentator on issues relating to Islam, Pakistan and Muslim immigrants in Pakistan on Australian and international media.


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