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Bunyād Book Launch (2021)

Friday, October 1, 2021 | 4:00 PM | Online on Zoom

Bunyad 2021 by the Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature  at LUMS

Virtual Launch of GCLL's Annual Urdu Journal - Bunyād '21

At the heart of the Centre and its multiple literary discussions, an invitation to debate and inquire opened its doors to the 12th volume of Bunyād, a journal which is known to be efficacious in publishing unconventional Urdu and other vernacular poetry, prose and critical essays.  The 12th volume, like its predecessors, is a reliable and interesting read which amplifies excluded voices and refuses to neglect contemporary creative works. This is done with the unreserved confidence of filling a gap in the literary publishing industry for anyone who wishes to explore the many subtle concerns of contemporary Urdu scholarship.

The virtual launch of the Urdu journal, Bunyād, was commemorated by the esteemed Urdu writers, Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar and Dr. Najeeba Arif, with Dr. Fatima Fayyaz as the moderator. The panelists discussed the importance of Bunyād in the Urdu literary circle and the meticulous efforts put in by the editorial team of Bunyād in publishing a journal of such a caliber and reach. They hoped for the journal to continue to grow beyond the reductive literary and linguistic binaries.

Guest Speakers: Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar and Dr. Najeeba Arif

Moderator: Dr. Fatima Fayyaz

Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar is a Pakistani Urdu language writer, critic, columnist, and essayist. He has written books on poetry, literary theory, and post-colonial study of Urdu literature. He has produced some important books on structuralism, post-modernism and their influence on Urdu literature. Currently, he is the Head of Publications at Gurmani Center for Languages and Literature and teaching courses in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at LUMS University.

Dr. Najeeba Arif is a writer, poet and academician and has authored nine books and around 40 research papers which were published in national and international journals and in volumes such as the Annual of Urdu Studies (USA), The Journal of Indology and South Asian Studies (Germany) and the Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam, Tehran. Currently, she is working as the Chairperson of the Department of Urdu and the Students` Advisor in International Islamic University, Islamabad and is supervising research at PhD and MS level. Besides she is the member of the General Editorial Committee, formed by the Government of Pakistan to review and verify the Urdu translation of the Pakistan Code.

Dr. Fatima Fayyaz is a scholar of Persian literature who studies Central Asian hagiographical Persian literature, contemporary Afghan Persian poetry and prose, Persian epics, and South Asian mystic literature. She completed her Ph.D. from the University of Tehran, Iran, in 2019 and is currently teaching at LUMS as an assistant professor of Persian and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies.

Event Coverage

This edition of Bunyād was edited by Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar with Wajahat Rafiq Baig as its managing editor. The volume comprises twelve articles dealing with a wide range of subjects, as well as an editorial by Dr. Nayyar. It also includes abstracts in English and transliterated bibliographies for each article to increase accessibility for readers. In light of Covid-19, the editorial reflects on the pandemic’s effects on our lives during the past year and the renewed interest in epidemic related literature sparked by these circumstances. In a similar vein, this volume also includes an article by Aurangzeb Niazi on Urdu literature written during the current pandemic. The article titled “The Impact of Buddhism on Ghalib” by Sulaiman provides a valuable addition to the study of Mirza Ghalib’s poetry by tracing the influence of Buddhist ideas on his work and analyzing the ways in which Buddhist philosophy is imbibed in his poetry. In addition, the 12th issue of Bunyād features a wide array of articles on 19th Century Urdu and Persian texts, 20th Century Urdu writers, global themes in Urdu Literature, and the works of various writers from different regions of the world.

Two of the articles in this issue offer detailed studies of previously unpublished 19th century Urdu and Persian texts. Ismat Durrani’s seminal article presents a descriptive study and critical evaluation of the Persian text Iqbāl Nāma-i Sa‘ādat Āyāt—an unpublished early 19th century political history of the state of Bahawalpur. Sadaf Tabassum’s paper provides an introduction to a qaṣīda by the 19th Century poet Amir Minai. This text, written in praise of the Nawab of Rampur, had never been published previously. This article, hence, also includes a carefully edited version of the original text along with a comprehensive glossary. Qasim Yaqoob’s article deals with 20th Century Urdu poetry by tracing the changing conceptions of man and nature in Majeed Amjad’s poetry.

The volume also presents new perspectives on eminent Urdu writers of the 20th century. Akhter Ahsen’s paper on Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story “dhuvāṅ” analyses the psychological context of this story and stresses on the significant influence of Eastern mythical and religious tradition on Manto’s work. Mehroona Leghari’s article on Intizar Hussain analyzes the historical, cultural, and religious influences that shaped the writer’s creative imagination and intellect. It provides insights into Intizar Hussain’s disentanglement of the violence and displacement caused by the partition of the Indian subcontinent.

This edition of the journal also features articles on global and pan-regional themes in Urdu literature. Vafa Yazdanmanesh (Professor of Urdu Literature, University of Tehran) has undertaken a comparative study of depictions of Iranian Culture in Urdu travelogues.

Many of the featured articles go beyond Urdu literature to engage with texts and writers from around the world. Akther Ali Syed’s paper reflects on three of Frantz Fanon's works from a psychological point of view and relates them to the contemporary era of hyper-colonialism. Amara Ali’s paper on Mario Vargas Llosa delineates the author’s ideas on the art of novel writing expressed in his vast body of literary criticism. The volume also includes Abrar Hussain’s Urdu translation of the article, “The Forgotten Story of Postmodernity” by the American Professor Rein Staal. This article traces religious alternatives to empiricist idealist modernity that emerged in the West prior to secular postmodernity and attempts to revive these ideas.

Other topics addressed by this issue include the history of the Urdu script and a linguistic study on the multiplicity of meaning. Tariq Javed’s article attempts to identify the various sources of the present day Nasta‘līq Urdu script by closely studying the features of various other scripts. Muhammad Rashid Saeedi’s paper explores the ideas of multiplicity of meaning and ambiguity in literature through the lens of linguistic studies.

You can read the 12th volume of Bunyād here.

All other volumes of Bunyād are also available online on the journal’s website.


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