Octobre 2023 à juin 2024


Shirin Zubair studied English Language and Literature at University of Multan, Pakistan (1982-83) followed by a Masters and PhD in Linguistics at Cardiff University, UK (1994-2000). 

In 1984, she joined Baha-ud-Din Zakariya University, Pakistan and taught there as lecturer, associate professor and professor until 2013; She was twice named the chair of the department of English during her tenure. She completed her postdoctoral research project on Pakistani women's literacies and identity as a Fulbright scholar at University of Texas, Austin, USA (2002-03), and taught courses on Pakistani literature, culture and identity at Lehigh University (2009) and Central College, Iowa, USA (2007). 

In 2014-2016, she held senior fellowships at the Centre for Multilingualism in Society and Centre for Gender (STK) at University of Oslo, Norway. She has also held senior research positions in Germany at Kate Hamburger Kollege, and Berlin Graduate School of Mulsim Cutures & Societies at Freie University during 2014; more recently, she has been a senior research fellow at Polish Institute of Advanced Studies (PIASt).

Search project

Feminist Movements in Pakistan: Discourses, Framings and Contestations

Public marches in Pakistan have always been male-centric. The emergence of women’s marches where women from all social strata walk holding placards, chanting slogans, performing and addressing the public rallies, is a new sight in the public sphere of streets. 

Drawing on Butler’s (2015) performative theory of assembly and the theory of linguistic landscape ( Leeman and Modan 2009) , this research uses data of posters, banners and slogans along with interviews of activists from the two simultaneously emerging movements i.e. the Aurat March and #MeToo. As the two movements have suddenly gained momentum and ubiquity across the country, the language of slogans and the associated semiotics resonate with the indigenous women’s struggles against the oppressive patriarchal structural and gendered inequalities. Thus far, women were silent about these issues, however they seem to be reclaiming the language as well as the public spheres. 

This project is significant in that it firstly links this movement to the global attacks on feminism and secondly, highlights the significance of mobilizing women for their rights through educating them in the informal sector as the women right’s activists and artists are mobilizing women through their digital art posters. Thus tracing the linkages between women’s march visuals in Pakistan and the processes of social change in regard to women’s rights and access to the public domains of streets, the project along with other themes, explores the transformative power of visual literacy.


· ZUBAIR, Shirin. Mera Jism Meri Marzi: Framing the Contestations of Women’s Rights in Pakistan. Alexandra Scheele, Julia Roth and Heidemarie Winkel (eds.) Global Contestations of Gender Rights. Bielefeld University Press, Bielefeld, 2022, 303-322 p.

· ZUBAIR, Shirin. Learning to be Glocal: Reflections on Transgressive Theories and Transcultural Flows in a Pakistani ELT Classroom and Curriculum . Waseem Anwar and Nosheen Yusuf (eds.) Transcultural Humainites in South Asia: Essays on Literature and Culture. London, Routledge, 2022, 326-337 p.

· ZUBAIR, Shirin. Situating Islamic Feminisms: Lived Religion, Negotiation of Identity(ies) and Assertion of Third Space by Muslim Women in Pakistan. Women Studies International Forum, 2017, 63: 17-26 p.

· ZUBAIR, Shirin. Development Narratives, Women and Media in Pakistan : Shifts and Continuities, South Asian Popular Culture , 2016, 14:1-2 ,19-32p.

· ZUBAIR, Shirin. Theorizing Institutional Feelings, Bodies and Spaces: the Case of Feminism and Women’s Studies in Pakistan , Feminist Formations, 2016, 28.3 , 95-120 p.