Ian Almond (Chair)

Ian Almond is Professor of World Literature at Georgetown University. He is the author of six books, most recently Two Faiths, One Banner (Harvard University Press, 2009) and The Thought of Nirad C. Chaudhuri (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and over fifty articles in a variety of journals including PMLA, Radical Philosophy, ELH, New Literary History and the Harvard Theological Review. He specializes in comparative world literature, with a tri-continental emphasis on Mexico, Bengal and Turkey. His work has been translated into thirteen languages (Albanian, Arabic, German, Korean, Indonesian, Bengali, Bosnian/Serbo-Croat, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, and Turkish). The Arabic translation of his book Sufism and Deconstruction was shortlisted (one of 7) for the largest literary prize in existence, the Sheikh Zayed Book Prize. The Korean translation of his book Two Faiths One Banner won the Book of the Month award. His sixth book, World Literature Decentered: Beyond the ‘West’ Through Turkey, Mexico and Bengal (Routledge: New York, 2021) came out last year.

Dawood Azami

Dawood Azami is an award-winning senior journalist and academic. As a Multi-Media Editor in the BBC World Service (London), he leads a team of journalists in covering international news and current affairs and producing educational and entertainment programs. In 2010-2011, he worked as the BBC World Service Bureau Chief and Editor in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is also an Associate Fellow at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, contributing to research and analysis of geopolitical and international security and development issues. He also worked as a Visiting Lecturer/Scholar at The Ohio State University (U.S.A) and the University of Westminster (London) teaching on Globalization, Conflict, Resource Politics as well as Culture and Politics in South and Central Asia and the Middle East. Dr. Azami’s areas of research include International Relations and Development, State (Un)building, International Security, Hybrid Insecurity, Drug-Terror Nexus, Transnational Organized Crime, Media, Migration, History, Religion, Literature, and Multi-culturalism.

Parwana Fayyaz

Parwana Fayyaz is a scholar and teacher of Persian literature written between 1000 and 1600, specializing in long narrative poems (masnavi). Her work reveals a world of textual, cultural, linguistic, and religious exchanges that has important ramifications for the way we understand the relationships between East and West, between Islam and the Greco-Roman and Christian worlds. In her current research, she studies other intersections gone largely unnoticed, such as the reception of classical Persian romance in the colonial period and the role of nursing women in romantic Persian poetry.

Abdul Khaliq Rashid

Abdul Khaliq Rashid is a Visiting Professor in the Center of Persian and Central Asian Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi wherein he has developed the Pashto Programme of study up to Advanced Diploma level. He is keen to promote Indo-Afghan relation in academic and cultural spheres. He is deeply interested in Sanskrit studies. He has authored several books and research articles pertaining to Pashto and dari studies. His works include; Criticism in Pashto and Dari, Resistance Literature in Pashto, History of Pashto Criticism, and he has translated Megkhdutam and Vikram Urwasiya of Kalidas into Pashto and Dari. He has penned four collections of short stories in Pashto.

Zahra Wakilzada

Zahra Wakilzada is an Afghan-American author, poet, and public speaker. She has written and published dozens of poetry pieces and has spoken in universities, schools, and conferences on gender justice and immigration issues. Her poetry has been performed at the United Nations. She has also been invited to speak in front of Goodwill Ambassadors, the Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan, the Executive Director of UN Women, and young leaders worldwide at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. She has been writing in Persian and English since she was 13, and some of her writings have been published in French. Last May, she graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in International Politics and Diplomatic Studies. This fall, Zahra began her graduate studies at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, pursuing a Master of Science in Foreign Service.