Kazi Ashraf Uddin Associate Professor, Department of English
Currently on study leave from the Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, I am pursuing my Doctoral studies at the School of Law, Society and Criminology at the University of New South Wales, Australia. My PhD research focuses on the development of transgender research methodology in the South Asian context incorporating CripQueer discourses. I am interested in critically investigating different gender expressions and relations across different cultures and their location within the geo-specific power dynamics. My previous research focused on various trans-discourses and how discursive politics shapes our epistemological framework. I am also working on the interactive and interdisciplinary facets of humanities (in conversation with cybernetics) which leads me to a hermeneutic understanding of critical posthumanism within the broader scope of transhumanism. My recent publications employed Lefevbrian 'spatial criticism', Achille Mbembe's 'necropolitics' and Jasbir Puar's 'homonationalism' to understand Bangladeshi socio-cultural and ideological practices.
Gender and sexuality studies, Critical posthumanism, Cybercriticism, Spectral criticism, Spatial criticism, Crip temporalities, Critical pedagogy, Cultural anthropology
AWARDUniversity International Postgraduate Award (UIPA), 2021-2025.
Doctoral studies at Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW, AustraliaErasmus Mundus (EMMA), 2009-2011.
MA in English Studies at University of Bordeaux, France
JOURNAL PAPERKazi Ashraf Uddin, Heteronationalistic Necropower: Pandemic Double disenfranchisement and Alienation of Hijras, Socioscapes. International Journal of Societies, Politics and Cultu, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.48-60, 2020. doi: DOI 10.48250/1031
The ever-increasing demography of world’s one of the most densely populated cities of a so-called developing country and its inconsistent urban spatialization and urban practices have turned the urban geography of Dhaka into a chaotic one. Due to an irregular and oftentimes hegemonic “spatial practice” (borrowing Henri Lefebvre’s term), spaces on the urban landscape of Dhaka are used, reused, misused, and not to mention, abused. In line with urban anthropology’s critical concern, this paper takes up two empirical case studies of spatial practices within Dhaka city’s urban site - one is the informal spatial economy of hijras at the traffic signals while the other is the expansionist re-decoration of the front gate of the Headquarters of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) situated at Sat Masjid Road along with Dhanmondi neighborhood - and investigates into the political, social, economic and cultural influences that shape the spatial practices and ensue spatial restructuring of our everyday urban life. In doing so, this paper also locates the issues of inhabited expansionism, social/urban justice and ‘right to the city’ (Lefebvre,1968; Harvey, 2008) and casts a curious look at the transforming notion of citizenship rights and the role of the state/military policy in structuring city life. Adopting the methods of empirical data analysis and participation observation, this paper attempts a critical investigation of our urban geography, how it continuously reshapes our social relationships and ensues new facets of an urban struggle for existence, both spatial and economic. To put it in simple terms, this research explores two central issues of urban anthropology in the Bangladeshi (Dhaka) context: the spatial practice of urban space and ensuing social relationships and encounters.
Keywords: space and power spatial practices, Henri Lefebvre, spatial justice, spatial economyKazi Ashraf Uddin, “Suicide in Sanatorium: Dysfunctional Utopia in Norwegian Wood”, Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 29, pp.pp. 119-128, 2013. doi: ISSN: 1729-8326
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Swinging between ‘Ratan’ and ‘Ratna’: Gender Ambiguity in Anan Zaman’s Shikhandi Katha”, Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature,, Vol. 30, pp.pp. 97-105, 2014. doi: ISSN: 1729-8326
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Consensual Hallucination”: Dystopian Posthuman Condition in Gibson’s Neuromancer, Harvest: Jahangirnagar University Studies in Language and Literature, 32, pp.113-122, 2016.
Set in near-futuristic urban-scape of the Sprawl, William Gibson's 1984 science frction Neuromancer delineates the juxtaposition ofhigh-tech with lowJife. Such posftnodem rendezvous is informed by the presence of an augmented reality namely the virtual reality aka matrix. Matrix or the cyberspace defined by Gibson as a new-technological expression of "consensual hallucination" serves as.the powerhouse of the technocrats and large corporate conglomerates like Tessier Ashpool. A consensual admission into the cyber-reality of the simulated cobweb of individual consciousness leads the characters to a disembodied surveillance engaging both command and control. This paper argues that technology receding the biological realities presents us a posthuman reality which casts a panopticon on the individual and creates a conditional existence. Analysing the literary and theoretical discourses, this paper thus concludes that incorporating the essential dystopian conditions of surveillance, dominance, control, and punishment, Neuromancer delineates the oppressive consequence of posthuman "social-contract" (brrowing the term from Jean Jacques Rousseau).Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Voicing Draupadi: (Re)Constructing the Female Archetype”, Southeast University English Department Journal, 3, pp.7-16, 2019. doi: ISSN. 2519-1543.
Carl Jung’s notion of “collective unconscious” has to be perceived through the structured combined concept of “archetype” and “instinct’. The meaning of myths and legends is similarly constructed. However, myths and legends, popularly conceived as stories and narratives, very often (exceptions include cases like Psyche myth) lack author(itie)s and if author(iz)ed, does not change in perspective. Roland Barthes’ post-structuralist declaration of the “death of an author” is hardly applicable (though some mythological stories have been re-written by Canadian “Canongate Myth Series”) in deconstructing or de-centering the viewpoint of the meaning of myth thus giving agency to the mythical characters already constructed and perpetuated in the epic metanarratives. Apart from the anonymous narrative of myths, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions (2008) occupies a pivotal position in giving Draupadi (the semi-mythical Damsel and wives of Pancha Pandavas) a subjective voice. Draupadi speaks for herself in first person narrative in this myth-based fiction. Either Draupadi’s first person narrative or Divakaruni’s authoring the novel can be deemed as an instance of “Écriture féminine”, an attempt of representation of the female voice. While writing for Draupadi, Divakaruni creates a feminine point-of-view, unveils her emotional entanglements and rationalizes her justifications. Through subjectivity, this novel also revises the categories of female archetypes vis-a-vis the protagonist Draupadi. Draupadi’s character is scrutinized in the light of archetypal rubrics such as “damsel in distress”, “temptress” (another version of “femme fatale”) and “unfaithful”. This paper critically reads The Palace of Illusions to locate the female representational agents who through writing (as in the case of Chitra Divakaruni) and voicing (as for Draupadi/Panchali) deconstruct and/or reconstruct the female archetypes.
Key words: female archetype, myth, écriture féminine.Kazi Ashraf Uddin, ““অর্থ নয়, কীর্তি নয়, সচ্ছলতা নয় - / আর এক বিপন্ন বিষ্ময়”: Locating the Sublime and the Real in Jibanananda Das’ Poetry”, Harvest, Jahangirnagar University Studies in Language and Literature, 34, 2019.
Jacques Lacan’s enigmatic psychic disposition named “the trauma of the Real” leaves the readers with an unresolved and inexplicable state of symbolic signification where an individual’s inability to assign a structural coherence between the signifier and the signified is foregrounded. Such a traumatic psychological state incorporates both Freudian notion of “death drive” and Lacanian “jouissance” in as far as it relates to a desire for an intimate yet alienated and unattainable object. Freudian ‘death drive’ also theoretically endorses such an anti-pleasure-principle which, as a case study, can be perceived through an individual’s act of suicide where her/his parameters of order do not comply with the ideals of the society at large. Sigmund Freud’s 1930 publication Civilization and Its Discontents explores such a sublime condition where a clash occurs between the desire for individuality and the expectation of the society. Published after around 15 years of the publication of Freud’s aforementioned text, Jibanananda Das’ poetry collection Maha Prithibi (1944) embodies a morbid desire for death and self-annihilation transcending the comprehensibility of nature towards the surreal or the Lacanian Real. This paper attempts a reading of Jibanananda’s poem “আট বছর আগের এক দিন” from Maha Prithibi in the light of three notions- the sublime, the jouissance, and the death drive. In line with Freud’s arguments that civilization functions as a mode of wish-fulfilment of our idyllic desire for control, order, beauty, and hygiene, this paper argues that Das’ poem “আট বছর আগের এক দিন” bears an undertone of individual frustration emerging from a discontented tension between the singular and the collective. Furthermore, this paper argues that the moment of “বিপন্নবিষ্ময়” (helpless awe/ ‘beguiling disaster’) in the poem which is pregnant with Lacanian “trauma of the Real” also incorporates an Orientalist notion of Indian sublime which, as Hegel argues, subverts reason, imposes violence to the natural order (in Jibanananda’s case, the religion), and poses a threat to imagination doing violence to the intellect.Kazi Ashraf Uddin, Understanding Deviant Space: A Study of the Subversion of Power Dynamics in Paharganj, Crossings, 11, pp.198-208, 2020.
This paper, preoccupied with intersectionality in spatial criticism and broadly portraying the visual representation of urban space in popular culture (film), critically looks into the lived experiences around the Delhi neighborhood, Paharganj, as illustrated in Rakesh Ranjan Kumar’s 2019 film Paharganj. Theoretically grounding on Henri Lefebvre’s spatial triad and production of space, and on Michel Foucault’s “panopticon” and “heterotopia,” this paper investigates (a) ways in which Paharganj turns into a deviant and dangerous space with its countercultural brooding and camouflaged criminality and how such deviant “lived space” negates or adds dimension to the “conceived space,” and (b) how such subversive space (Paharganj) challenges territorial jurisdiction by creating an alternative and resistant power nexus which sometimes leads to its denomination as the “Republic of Paharganj,” a status as “dangerous” or desired space in the film. As a part of its spatial reading of popular cultural texts, this paper primarily takes on Paharganj. However, to substantiate Paharganj’s spatial representation in popular culture, this paper also secondarily makes reference to two other films: Holy Smoke! (1999) and Dev. D (2009).
Keywords: Spatialization of Counterculture, Spatial Partitioning of Power, “Production of Space,” Deviant Space
CONFERENCE PAPERKazi Ashraf Uddin, Epistemology of the South: Exploring the Perspectives on Rohingya Refugee Research, 2nd International Conference on “Refugee, Resistance, and Recognition: Global Literary Representations in [Post] post-colonial Perspectives”, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh, 24-25 February 2023.
What does a decolonial epistemology entail? Perhaps, a potential response to this query would be — approaches, methods and discourses that challenge the knowledge sources and knowledge production methods and locations advocated, perpetuated and hegemonically imposed by the Global North. Following this epistemic tension, the epistemology of the South has got critical currency and has proved to be embodying decolonial potentials. Situating the Rohingya refugee question within the broader paradigm of Refugee and Human Rights research is important both from the Social-justice perspective and sociological perspective. The presentation proposes/ introduces two emerging aspects of refugee research— one methodological and the other thematic — with regards to the narrative representation (through songs, poems, paintings etc) and intersections of the lived experience of Rohingya. To explore such an epistemic avenue of refugee research, this presentation outlines (i) the components of the arts-based methodology and (ii) the intersectional analysis of gender (LGBT/Gender-diverse refugees) and spatiality (refugee spaces) in refugee research. In so doing, this paper theoretically draws on Caroline Lenette (arts-based method), Michel Foucault (biopolitics and gaze) and Kimberlé Crenshaw (intersectionality). The purpose of this presentation is not to evaluate the merits of any particular method and/or theme in refugee research but to contextualize the importance of situated knowledge in Bangladeshi refugee research.
Keywords: arts-based method in refugee research, intersectionality in refugee research, the epistemology of the South
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, Religious rehabilitation of the Hijras: An Alternative Transgender Integration Model in the Global South , DevNet Conference 2022, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 7-9 December, 2022.
Abstract:Kazi Ashraf Uddin, Translating “the breast” and “the milk”: In Search for an Oriental traduction féminine, 7th IATIS Conference: The Cultural Ecology of Translation, Barcelona, Spain + Online, 14-17 September 2021.
Gayatri Spivak’s translation of Mahasweta Devi’s short story collection, Breast Stories is aware of what Spivak herself calls “the politics of translation” retaining the complex intersectionality of women/women’s body. And when such metaphor of body or liquid of the body is written in multilayered ethnic context, the translation deserves an intense attention to the geo-local body-politics and body-capital. Situated in a complex social fabric of Indian society, Devi’s literary narratives use the language and metaphors which are embroidered with a Cixouvian notion of “writing the body” and “bodily fluids”. Taking two of Devi’s stories in English translation by Spivak - “Breast-Giver” and “Behind the Bodice” (stories known as breast-fiction) - this paper, as an “intimate act of reading” translation, contends that Spivak’s translation as a form of re-writing has become what may be called traduction féminine, alluding to Hélène Cixous’s notion of women’s immersive writing, écriture féminine. Reflecting on Spivak’s foreignization strategy in her translation, this paper finally argues that domesticating would compromise with the “workings of gendered agency” and what Spivak calls the importance of “breast as a labor-power-as-commodity”.
Keywords: traduction feminine, écriture feminine, translating the bodyKazi Ashraf Uddin, Kamola plays a Drag-Queen: Reading ‘Lolita Complex’ in Humayun Ahmed’s Ghetuputra Kamola (2012), 1st International Conference on Social Science and Humanities, Independent University, Bangladesh, 2014.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin & Mashrur Shahid Hossain, Thou art ‘base, common, and popular’: popular culture and the minoritized ‘Shakespeare’, 1st Conference on “English and Interdisciplinairity: Shakespeare,, North South University, Bangladesh, 2012.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, ““YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT, MAN”: Constructing “Taxi-Driver” Cult in Film”, International Conference on “Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies in the 21st Century: translocating, transgressing boundaries”, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, 2012.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin & Mashrur Shahid Hossain, Violence that dare not speak its name: Construing and de-construing minority ‘men’, International Conference on “Minority Discourses Across Cultures”, Central University of Rajasthan, India, 2012.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, ““To-be-looked-at-ness”: Masculine Politicized Gaze in Alfred Hitchcock’s Films”, International Conference (IACSS) on “Cultural Transformations, BRAC University, Bangladesh, 2011.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Goodbye Blue Sky: Reading Post-Industrial Apocalypse in Pink Floyd”, "The Machine in the Garden: Literature, Language and Technology in English Studies", Daffodil International University, Bangladesh, 19 September 2015.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “‘Return of the Repressed’” or Calling the Repressed: Reading the Spectrality of Lazarus in Literature and Popular Culture”,, “The River: Flows of Innovation and Exchange in the Global(i)zed English World”, North South University, Bangladesh, March 3-6, 2016.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Monster in the Pastoral: Reading Eco-Subaltern Narrative in South Asian Literature”, “Conference of International Comparative Literature Association 2016 – ICLA”, University of Vienna, Austria, July 20-27, 2016.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “From Material to Meta-Material: Reading Visual Texts (A)Materially”, XIXth International Conference on “Materialities: Objects, Matters, Things”, Doon University, India., December 18-21, 2016.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “From Chitrāngadā to চিত্রাঙ্গদা to Chitrangada: Performativity and Transformativtiy of the Queer Body”, International conference on ‘Redrawing Gender Boundaries in Literary Terrains’, BRAC University, Bangladesh, May 2017.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Teaching French in South Asia: Pedagogical Challenges”, 23rd International Conference of NELTA, Kathamandu, Nepal, 15-17 February 2018.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “অর্থ নয় কীর্তি নয় স্বচ্ছলতা নয়, আরো এক বিপন্ন বিস্ময়: Locating the Sublime and the Real in Jibanananda Das’ Poetry”, “The Current Literary Theories and Jibanananda Das”, University of Barishal, Bangladesh, 11 July 2019.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, - “From বাংলা through français to English: A Comparative Reading of Two Translations of Syed Waliullah’s novel, Lal Shalu”, CLA Congress 2019, University of Macau, China, 29 July – 2 August 2019.
I call this paper as an attempt to do Comparative Translation Studies within the broader framework of Comparative Literature.
BOOK CHAPTERKazi Ashraf Uddin, Kamola plays a Drag-Queen: Reading ‘Lolita Complex’ in Humayun Ahmed’s Ghetuputra Kamola (2012), Identity in the Globalized World,
Cultural appropriation of pedophilia as an accompaniment of musical performance was a unique case in the undivided India, especially on the eastern part of India (now Bangladesh). The emergence of “Ghetugaan” (a form of folk music) with the prepubescent boys dancing in female clothing is potential with the discursive analysis of transvestism and cross-dressing thus leading to a certain “gender dysphoria” of the performer. A discourse on identity-(crisis) can be furthered by incorporating elements of explicit pedophilia since such prepubescent boys are sexploited (sexually exploited) by the feudal landlords who hire them for dual purpose – musical performance and sexual gratification. This paper presents a theoretical discourse of the psychosexual trauma of a victim of pedophilia (named as Kamola) within the political domain of feudal lordship represented in visual media – Humayun Ahmed’s last film (2012) Ghetuputra Kamola (Pleasure-boy Kamola). Focusing on the pattern of attraction/desire of the pedophile and cross-dressing adornment and enforced performance of the victim, this paper argues that the pedophile in question exhibits the notion of “Lolita complex” alluding to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Assuming an academic and interdisciplinary approach, this paper also sheds light on the ecological catalysts as means of sexploitation within the framework of ecocriticism. Under three sub-titles, the present paper firstly offers a socio-ecological context of Ghetugaan followed by the representation of Kamola’s crisis of finding his “self” within the queer identity parameter. Thus the second sub-section also informs us of the “Lolita complex” of the aforementioned pedophile as complementary to the trans-discourse. The last sub-section of this paper presents Kamola as a victim of gender-violence and nuptial jealousy ultimately leading to the extreme, the murder.Mashrur Shahid Hossain, Kazi Ashraf Uddin (Co-author), ‘“Violence that dare not speak its name: Construing and de-construing minority ‘men’”, Discoursing Minority: In-Text and Co-Text, pp.76-97, 2014.
The study is divided into three sections. The first section, entitled “Manning Majority”, queers the majority/minority divides. The second section, “Minority Men” outlines four major types of violence enacted against men. Concentrating on sexual abuse, this section
explores how “violated men” are pushed into the minority group and how it affects the total bringing up of the men concerned. Then follow short reading of three texts – Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, A. Revathi’s autobiography, The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story, and Onir’s film, I Am – to understand the predicaments of men who are violated. We argue that sexual and gendered violence, when enacted against and not by a man, problematizes the majority/minority divides – man/woman, masculine/feminine, active/passive, heterosexual/homosexual – and exposes a liberating but disturbing realization that the signifier, minority, slides endlessly in and through discourse. Minority may thus become, referencing Deleuze and Guattari, “minor” that not only destabilizes the notion of minority but also, rather more importantly, deterritorializes masculinity and celebrates gender nomadism.
WORKSHOPKazi Ashraf Uddin, “Cybercriticism: An Introduction”, East West University, Bangladesh, 2018.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, DSA Conference 2021: Unsettling Development, University of East Anglia + Online, 2021.
PhD Masterclass by Prof. Laura Campfield (University of East Anglia)
OTHERKazi Ashraf Uddin, ““Consensual Hallucination”: Experiencing Dystopia in Cyberspace”, Jahangirnagar University Faculty Research Project, 2012-2013.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “(New) Media and Narrative: Reading South Asian Discourses”, Jahangirnagar University Faculty Research Project, 2018-2019.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, “Critical Pedagogy Meets the Faculty of Arts and Humanities: A Case Study of the Curriculum of the Department of English, JU”, Jahangirnagar University Faculty Research Project, 2019-2020.
Kazi Ashraf Uddin, Understanding Sociology of Gender and Doing Visual Anthropology: A Study of Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagar Kirtan (2017), Jahangirnagar University Faculty Research Project, 2020-2021.
This project critically assesses the potential of feature film as an essential component to do visual anthropology. Focusing on the ethnographic representations of hijra life in India in Kaushik Ganguly’s 2017 Bengali film Nagar Kirtan, this paper, part of a larger project on ethnographic studies, argues that, by incorporating the socially and historically verified aspects of hijra existence, biographical anecdotes and real-life hijra characters as cast, Ganguly’s film helps us to understand the socio-economico-political intersectionality of trans* (especially, hijra) life in South Asia. Drawing upon trans* epistemology, this paper takes into account three sociological traits of of hijra life – a) spatial economy, b) intra-community governmentality among the members of hijra group, and c) hijra dera (hijras’ communal residence under guru-ma’s leadership) as miniature spatial embodiment for alternative desire.Ford Fellowship, Centre for Contemporary Theory, India, 2013.
|Course Code||Course Title||Semester/Year|
|ARTS1753||Culture, Experience and Change||Term 3, 2022 (University of New South Wales)|
|LECS 502||Contemporary Critical Theories||2020-2021|
|E 202||16th and 17th Century Poetry and Prose||2018-2019|
|E 403||Introduction to Critical Theory and Critical Applied Linguistics||2019-2020|
|E 308||Translation Studies||2019-2020|
|LECS 509||Popular and Postmodern Literature||2019-2020|
Period: March 1 - March 30, 2022
Graduate online course entitled "Introduction to Queer Theory"
Graduate course in Social Anthropology (Continuing Education Programme)
MA in English Studies
Period: 2005-2006 (Exam held in 2009)
MA in English
Period: 2000-2004 (Exam held in 2008)
BA in English
Position: Casual Academic
Period: Term 3, 2022
School of Social Sciences
Position: Associate Professor
Period: 2018- present
Department of English
Position: Assistant Professor
Period: September 2014 - November 2018
Department of English
Period: October 2011- August 2014
Department of English
Position: Adjunct Faculty
Period: January 2020 - December 2020
Department of ESOL
Position: Adjunct Faculty
Period: August 2019 - December 2019
Department of English and Humanties
Position: French Language Teacher (part-time)
Position: Adjunct Faculty
Period: 2014 - 2015
Department of English
Position: Adjunct Faculty
Department of English and Modern Languages
Position: Lecturer II
Period: July 2011 - September 2011
Department of English and Humanities
Position: French Language Teacher (part-time)
Position: Associate Fellow
Period: 2023 - present
Position: Internationally Accredited French Language Testing Examiner
Period: February 2013
“Stigmatized Body and Perplexed Identity: Understanding Gender Transgressors of South Asia”,