SOAS University of London

School of Arts

Imagining Pakistan: Culture, Politics, Gender

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 2

This module aims to develop and foster a deeper understanding of Pakistan's popular culture. It will cover a wide range of themes including representations of honour killing, contexts of piety and modernity, visual cultures, sexual politics, diaspora narratives and the politics of censorship and free speech. 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. A critical understanding of literary and cultural texts in their appropriate historical and cultural contexts
  2. Developed an interdisciplinary humanities based understanding of popular culture in conversation with the social sciences.
  3. Understanding how local, national and global debates on culture interact
  4. Developed necessary oral and written skills for sophisticated communication of relevant ideas, concepts and arguments.


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar per week. 

Scope and syllabus

Primary texts will vary from year to year, but a typical syllabus will consist of literary (including life writing), filmic, anthropological  texts complemented by region specific contextual texts and theoretical underpinning. In addition course readings and discussions will be guided by the following major themes.

  1. Sufi imaginaries
  2. Sexual politics, performativity and the ‘mediasphere’
  3. Faith, Fear and Blasphemy
  4. Piety and Modernity
  5. Shaming Women
  6. Music subcultures

Method of assessment

This course will be assessed by two essays. One short review style essay of 1000 words weighted at 30% due in week 7 of the term in which the module is taught; and a second essay of 2,500 words due on day 2 of Term 3 weighted at 50%. Students are required to do one coursework presentation of 10 minutes weighted at 10%.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules