A conversation with Dr. Asma Sayed, Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Hosted by President Philip Steenkamp and facilitated by Associate Director, Human Rights and EDI Alejandro Campos Garcia.
Literature, film, new media and other modes of cultural production are not singular fields, but interwoven modes of storytelling through which human life and people’s desires and hopes for a better world can be understood.
Using South Asian literary and cultural texts as examples, Sayed:
- explores the role of art and storytelling in advancing social justice and serving as counter-narratives to colonial and Eurocentric discourses
- looks at the ways in which we can critically interpret creative expressions as sites of socio-political change, activism, empowerment and community-building
- questions and explores how post-secondary institutions might not only establish but enact historically marginalized knowledge and creativity to envision transformative pathways to support, uphold and expand community knowledge and build solidarity
Dr. Asma Sayed is the Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Currently, she is also Associate Vice President, Anti-racism (interim), leading KPU’s newly established Office of Anti-Racism. She specializes in postcolonial and diasporic literatures with a focus on narratives of exile and displacement from South Asia and East Africa, as well as feminist literary and cultural studies related to these geographies. Her publications include five books and numerous articles in a range of periodicals, anthologies, and academic journals. Sayed’s work has been recognized through multiple awards and grants. In 2020, she was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. She is a recipient of KPU’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) award for 2023 and Distinguished Scholarship Award for 2022.