Coordinator & Advisor, South Asia Program
Carolina Asia Center Management Committee
Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies Advisory Board
South Asia Faculty Working Group
Phillips Ambassador Scholarship Selection Committee
South Asia Development Committee
American Institute of Pakistan Studies Board of Trustees
Founder of Urdu Majlis Literary Society
Host of Geet Bazaar Radio (Sundays 10 am to 12 noon), 88.1 FM WKNC
Sponsor, Chapel Hill Chalkaa
Sponsor, Delta Sigma Iota
Sponsor, Ek Taal
Sponsor, UNC-Chapel Hill Samaa
My research and teaching center around South Asian media, with emphasis on the film industry and television. My book, The Court of Indra and the Rebirth of North Indian Drama, explores the origins of the Urdu-Hindi musical theater in mid-nineteenth-century Lucknow. My current book project focuses on the dynamics of the transition from the Parsi theater to early sound films in the 1920s and 1930s. I am also interested in the aesthetics of cinema, filmmaking techniques and technologies, and the history of Bollywood. While researching the history of Indian cinema I began to collect past issues of Shama magazine; in my next project I will trace the impact of Shama on South Asian popular culture, including its visual and verbal constructions of gender identity in twentieth-century India and Pakistan.
I am also a creative writer: I have written, published, and recited my ghazals, geet, dohe, and short stories in Urdu and Hindi. Over the past ten years I have undertaken to film interviews with important literary figures of South Asia, and I have made a number of short films in conjunction with the Door Into Hindi and Darvazah language-learning websites. My interest in media has enabled me to pioneer the use of new technologies and multimedia resources in language teaching.
Outstanding presentation, Conference on Pakistan, South Asia, and Muslim Societies, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, March 6-7, 2012
UNC Course Enrichment Grant for First Year Seminar “Media Masala”
University Research Council Grant: “Surveying and Preserving Shama Magazine”
Institute for the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, Fall 2011
Photo “Face-Off” won Center for Global Initiatives Photo Contest and was used for the month of July in the 2010 CGI Calendar.
Gertrude M. Cox Special Merit Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology, North Carolina State University, 2005
ASIA 59: First-Year Seminar: Media Masala: Popular Music, TV, and the Internet in Modern India and Pakistan
ASIA 163: Hindi-Urdu Poetry in Performance
ASIA 228: Contested Souls: Literature, the Arts, and Religious Identity in Modern India
ASIA 231: Bollywood Cinema
ASIA 331: Cracking India: Partition and Its Legacy in South Asia
HNUR 306: Advanced Hindi-Urdu II (taught in Hindi-Urdu)
HNUR 407: South Asian Society and Culture (taught in Hindi-Urdu)
HNUR 408: South Asian Media and Film (taught in Hindi-Urdu)
HNUR 410: Seminar on the Urdu-Hindi Ghazal (taught in Hindi-Urdu)
The Court of Indra and the Rebirth of North Indian Drama, Delhi: Anjuman-e Taraqqi Urdu, 2006.
Darvazah: A Door Into Urdu: Web-Mounted Elementary Urdu Language Course, U.S. Department of Education, IEPS, 2009.
A Door Into Hindi: Web-Mounted Elementary Hindi Language Course, U.S. Department of Education, IEPS, 2003.
Urdu Through Hindi: Nastaliq with the Help of Devanagari, New Delhi: Rangmahal Press, 1997.
Tanhaiyan, Ankahi and Ahsas Companion, New Delhi: Monumental Publishers: Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind), 1996.
“Mirza Hadi Ruswa’s Laila Majnun” in Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Volume 33, 2011.
“Amrika Vala” (Hindi short story) in Hindi Chetna, Year 12, Issue 45, January 2010, pp. 27-29, Toronto: Hindi Pracharini Sabha, 2010.
Poetry (ghazals, geet, dohe) in Hindi Chetna, Toronto: Hindi Pracharini Sabha, 2007 to present.
“Two Anarkalis: Saghar Nizami’s Dream Drama and the Deconstruction of the Parsi Theatre,” in Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Vol. 32 (2010), pp. 178-94.
“A Door Into Hindi: Teaching Language and Culture in Cyberspace” in Home and the World: South Asia in Transition, Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006.
“Naghma-e Aligarh” (Ode to Aligarh University) poem on CD: Caravan: Songs of Aligarh University, Aligarh, India, 2012.
“Sachche ka bol bala” qawwali in Islamic Qawwalis vol. 1 (audio CD), India: INRECO, 2007.
“Ramzan ki barkat” qawwali in Islamic Qawwalis vol. 2 (audio CD), India: INRECO, 2007.