• Mahnoor Lone

Gurmani Centre Releases 12th Issue of its Annual Journal, Bunyād


The Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature is pleased to announce the release of its annual Urdu Studies journal. The 12th volume of Bunyād (2021) continues to provide a platform for academics to share innovative and current research with a global audience. The journal is devoted to disseminating cutting edge scholarship on Urdu literature, linguistics, criticism, literary history, and translation studies. Simultaneously, it aims to promote advanced research and globally recognised best practices in these fields. Recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under category ‘Y’, the journal features contributions by leading academics from across Pakistan as well as several international contributors.


The latest edition of Bunyād has been edited by 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 Professor 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Two of the articles in this issue offer detailed studies of previously unpublished 19th century Urdu and Persian texts.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seminal article presents a descriptive study and critical evaluation of the Persian text Iqbāl Nāma-i Sa‘ādat Āyāt—an unpublished early 19th century political history of the state of Bahawalpur.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 Franz 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 current volume of Bunyād here.


All previous issues of Bunyād are also available online on the journal’s website.