Wesleyan portrait of Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Frank B. Weeks Visiting Assistant Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


PHD University of Toronto

Afiya Shehrbano Zia

Afiya S. Zia is a feminist scholar and has taught gender studies at the University of Toronto, Canada, and Habib University in Pakistan. She is author of three books - the most recent one is, Faith and Feminism in Pakistan; Religious Agency or Secular Autonomy? (2018, Sussex Academic Press). She has authored over a dozen peer-reviewed essays in scholarly publications including, Signs (2018), International Feminist Journal of Politics (August 2016), and Feminist Review (2009) and contributed chapters for over 10 edited volumes, including an award-winning Routledge publication on Human Rights. 


Afiya Zia is an active member of the women's and human rights movements in Pakistan, serves as a board member of the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability and, is an advisory member of the Centre for Secular Space, UK. Her current research work is on Pious and Populist Political Muslim Masculinities, and on the #MeToo movement in Pakistan. At Wesleyan, Afiya will be teaching Sex/Gender Critical Perspectives and offering courses on Women's Political & Sexual Revolutions in the Middle East & South Asia, and Decolonization, Feminism and Human Rights.

Selected publications;

Faith and Feminism in Pakistan: Religious Agency or Secular Autonomy? Brighton: Sussex Academic Press (2018). http://www.sussex-academic.com/sa/titles/womens_studies/Zia.htm

(March 2020)“Who’s Afraid of Pakistan’s Aurat March?” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 55, Issue No. 8, 22 Feb, 2020.

(July 2019) Co-author with Shahrzad Mojab, “Race, Class, and Agency: A Return to Marxist Feminism,” in Lands, Journal of Labor and Society, Vol 22(2): 259 – 273.

(Winter 2019) “Can the Rescue Narrative Save Lives; Honor Crime in Pakistan.” Signs, Vol 44 (2): 355-378.

(2016) “Performance Anxiety: Women’s Sexed Bodies in Pakistan,” Journal article, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol 19 (3): 296-310. 

Select webinars and podcasts;

Faith and Feminism – Afiya Zia in conversation with Gayatri Spivak at CUNY - https://pcp.gc.cuny.edu/2013/03/video-afiya-zia-and-gayatri-spivak-in-conversation-faith-and-feminism-in-pakistan/  

To Be a Woman in an Islamic Society (English), OIC talk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35ubLxCdDag&t=3132s  

Who’s Afraid of Aurat March? Feminism and Secularism in Pakistan. Economic and Political Weekly. https://www.epw.in/engage/article/research-radio-podcast-who-afraid-pakistans-aurat-march-feminism-secularism  

Secularism and Feminism – Columbia University 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nNSz0rHWRo&t=3858s 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Mondays 1.00-3.30 pm 

Room 214, Allbritton


Fall 2021
FGSS 200 - 01
Sex/Gender CriticalPerspective

FGSS 200F - 01
Sex/Gender CriticalPersp (FYS)

Spring 2022
FGSS 200 - 01
Sex/Gender CriticalPerspective

FGSS 312 - 01
Women's Political & Sexual Rev

FGSS 316 - 01
Decoloniality and Human Rights