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Sadaf Jaffer

Sadaf Jaffer

Postdoctoral Fellow in Literary Cultures of Muslim South Asia


Sadaf Jaffer is a scholar of South Asian, Islamic and gender studies. She aims to understand modern Muslim societies by looking beyond self-consciously religious circles to shapers of film and literary culture. She is currently working on a book entitled Lady Genghis Khan: Ismat Chughtai, Progressive Literature and Secularism in Modern India, which offers new perspectives on Islam and secularism in modern India through the lens of celebrated Urdu writer and Indian cultural critic Ismat Chughtai. Jaffer is also conducting research for a second book project entitled The Crisis of Secular Feminism in Pakistan, which calls into question the trend of using religiosity as the most important lens of analysis in Muslim majority societies by engaging with those feminists who have worked outside the framework of Islamic feminism. Based on preliminary research, she has published a reflection paper in the Journal of Women’s History entitled “Women’s Autobiography in Islamic Societies: Towards a Feminist Intellectual History” in which she explores the ways women use dynamic online texts to emphasize national belonging to Pakistan while rejecting Islam as promulgated by the state. Jaffer is a graduate of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and earned her PhD from Harvard University.

Sadaf Jaffer's postdoctoral appointment at Stanford is sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Center for South Asia, and Stanford Global Studies Division.