Ms Saira Fatima Dogar

Postgraduate Research Student

Summary: Postgraduate Research Student

Overview

MA in English Literature (Government College Lahore affiliated with University of the Punjab)

MA in Twentieth Century Literature (University of Sussex at Brighton)

Research Interests

Supervised by Dr Clare Barker and Prof. Graham Huggan

My research interests include Pakistani writing in English and twentieth century modernist British Fiction, especially the works of women writers. My MA dissertation offered a comparative- contrast analysis of the representation of women in their domestic environs in the works of Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf.

Over twelve years of full time work as an academic, I have designed and taught courses on modernist British fiction and Pakistani postcolonial writing at postgraduate level. When I decided to take a break from my job to pursue doctoral studies, the choice of the right institution was an absolutely crucial one. I chose Leeds because of the excellent international reputation of its Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. My decision was also influenced by my interaction and association with Leeds alumni, friends and fellow academics working in the field of postcolonial studies at other universities and academic institutions in Lahore, Pakistan. They spoke very fondly of the time spent at Leeds and about how wonderfully rewarding and enriching an experience it had been academically and personally. Over the past year I too have benefitted from the wide ranging expertise of its well trained staff and have received excellent supervision that has effectively helped me in refining and pruning my research interests.

My doctoral research focuses on the space body dynamics in selected works of Pakistani writers Kamila Shamsie and Uzma Aslam Khan. Although Pakistani writing in English has traditionally been accorded significance in the context of Pakistan’s geopolitical role, I will argue that out of the variety of possible grounds for carrying out a comparative analysis between the works of these two writers, none is more compelling than the bodily mediated geographical, geological and spatial perspective which is an inherent feature of their writing. As such I will argue a case for a possible reconciliation of the geographical with the geopolitical in the works of these two writers. I propose that a sustained analysis of the various spatial modes and mechanisms in these two writers’ works may propel an enquiry into the spatial dynamics present in the works of other Pakistani women writers of contemporary fiction. A feminist perspective on space will also help to recentre the body as a site of experience in the broader context of Pakistani writing in English.

It is still early days for me but I feel confident that I am pursuing an area in research which will make an original contribution in my field of study. I also feel relieved and happy that I made the right choice by choosing to come to Leeds.