Dr. Mariam Zia is Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Department of Social Sciences, Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan, and the Syed Babar Ali Fellow for Spring 2023 at the Mittal Institute, Harvard University. Her PhD (University of Sussex, UK, 2017) was the first book-length study of the English translation of the Indo-Persian classic, the one-volume Dastan-e Amir Hamza. Her thesis translates material from various Urdu resources to lend theoretical grounding to the study of an indigenous genre that has only been conceived through Anglophone approximations in academic settings outside South Asia. During her fellowship at the Mittal Institute, Dr. Zia will be working on her translation of the first volume of Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s multivolume study of the 46-volume Dastan-e Amir Hamza titled Sahiri, Shahi, Sahibqirani: Dastan-e Amir Hamza ka Mutalea(Sorcery, Magic, Kingship: A Study of The Adventures of Amir Hamza).
Before beginning her PhD at Sussex, Dr. Zia worked for Pakistan’s first English-language news channel, DawnNews, as an Assignment Editor for the Punjab region for five years where she also reported on terrorism, health, and education. Dr. Zia also holds two M.A. degrees, one in English Language and Literature (Gold medal, University of the Punjab, Pakistan, 2004), and one in Critical Theory (Merit, University of Sussex, UK, 2006). Dr. Zia also taught research and theory modules to MPhil students at Kinnaird College for Women University, and at the Institute for English Studies, University of the Punjab during this time.
Her research interests include theory and culture, the ‘uncanny’, storytelling, and translation. Her work has appeared in the Oxford Literary Review, South Asian Review, and the Journal for the Fantastic in the Arts. Intermittently, Dr. Zia also writes for newspapers in Pakistan. She has also been involved in the Columbia University project “Teaching World Epics” spearheaded by Professor Jo Ann Cavallo. Dr. Zia is currently working on her monograph titled “Religious Orientations, Storytelling, and the Uncanny: A Reading of The Adventures of Amir Hamza.”