Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Graduate Student Supervision
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
At the time of independence, Pakistan inherited certain blasphemy laws along with the Indian Penal Code instituted by the British in 1860. After independence, additional blasphemy laws were introduced under a military regime in the 1980s. The postcolonial laws mirrored the colonial blasphemy legislation in important ways, but also differed significantly. Like their colonial precursors, the postcolonial blasphemy laws are (a) capacious in terms of what constitutes the offense and (b) require complainants to demonstrate that their “feelings” have been injured, which entails incitement of religious passion and violence that does not subside in favor of the judicial process. The postcolonial laws were designed moreover to appease certain religious political actors and a segment of the population. By means of these laws, an autocratic regime coopted and legitimized social violence in exchange for legitimacy. In the years following their legislation, these laws have been used to punish dissent and target members of minority communities. The laws have engendered unhealthy social mobilization and vigilante justice. The present work investigates colonial, Islamic traditional and imperial, and contemporary discursive influences that have shaped the blasphemy laws instituted in the 1980s. The characterization of the discursive and political climate in contemporary Pakistan is based on analysis of (a) interviews and video statements appearing on news and social media, and (b) semi-scholarly articles appearing in journals of religiopolitical organizations. The discussion of Islamic traditional and imperial influences is based on an examination of the Qur’an and important Islamic juristic texts on the subject. The impressions concerning the colonial legacy derive mostly from secondary scholarly works. Based on engagement with numerous primary and secondary sources in Arabic, English and Urdu, it is contended that the blasphemy laws introduced in Pakistan in the 1980s mirror certain features of precursor colonial laws, but also bear distinctive features that issue from a postcolonial Islamic discursive matrix consisting of a tide of Salafism that began in the 1970s, preoccupation with a narrow set of moral concerns and top-down approach to Islamic reform, and the desire to antagonize perceived adversaries of Islam and Pakistan.