Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Princeton University
Website URL
Islam, South Asia, Gender, Secularism, Urdu literature, India, Pakistan
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Sadaf Jaffer is a scholar with research interests in Islamic, South Asian, and gender studies. Her current book project, entitled “Secularism and Sexuality in Indian Muslim Thought: Ismat Chughtai’s Literary Progressivism,” elucidates alternative Muslim subjectivities through the lens of a prominent Urdu writer and cultural critic. Jaffer is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in South Asian Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on Islam, South Asia, and South Asian American studies. Prior to this appointment, she served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Studies at Stanford University. Jaffer has published a paper in the Journal of Women’s History entitled “Women’s Autobiography in Islamic Societies: Towards a Feminist Intellectual History” in addition to posts on the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Huffington Post, and the Altmuslimah blogs. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and obtained her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University with a secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality.

Recent Publications


Secularism, Sexuality, and Islam: Ismat Chughtai’s Indian Muslim Progressivism. Manuscript completed. 

Journal Articles and Reviews

“Sacred Duty: Ismat Chughtai’s Cosmopolitan Justice between Islam and the Secular.” Manuscript in progress to be submitted to The Journal of South Asian Intellectual History.

“The Many Lives of Urdu: Language, Progressive Literature, and Nostalgia.” Manuscript in progress to be submitted to Modern Asian Studies.

“Women’s Autobiography in Islamic Societies: Towards a Feminist Intellectual History.” Journal of Women’s History vol. 25 no. 2 (Summer 2013): 153-160.

Review of Racialized Bodies, Disabling Worlds: Storied Lives of Immigrant Muslim Women, by Parin Dossa, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences vol. 26 no. 4 (Fall 2009): 129-130.

“Constructing Piety: A Closer Look at Farhat Hashmi’s Controversial Al-Huda Foundation.” Chowrangi (Fall 2005): 48-49.

Web-based Publications

“Finding Hope in Islamic History.” Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Notes (December 6, 2017).

“Amal and Afaf:  Egypt’s Revolutionary Underdogs Deserve an Inclusive Constitution.” Co-authored with Mina E. Khalil. Huffington Post (July 19, 2013).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
India, Pakistan
Expertise by Geography
Asia, India, Middle East
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Religion, Sexuality, Women