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Dr. Mushtaq Bilal
IBA faculty authors a paper on Pakistani Literature Festivals

Dr. Mushtaq Bilal, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS), has authored an article titled, 'Pakistani Literature Festivals and a Scopaesthesiac Consciousness', published in the Journal of World Literature.

This paper seeks to understand and theorize Pakistani literature festivals. In order to do so, I study the programs and schedules of the Karachi Literature Festival from 2010–2020 and the Lahore Literary Festival from 2013–2020. Using Andrew Shryock's idea of Other-consciousness and building on Ammara Maqsood's anthropological work done in urban Pakistan, I argue that the conception, programming, and execution of festivals like the Karachi and the Lahore festivals are governed by a "scopaesthesiac consciousness" – a consciousness of being observed and judged by an imagined outsider. As a result, the organizers and producers of these festivals are less interested in showcasing an organic literary production and more interested in portraying a "soft image of Pakistan" to an imagined outsider.

The article can be accessed here.