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Asher Ghaffar

While researching his Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought, Asher Ghaffar worked as a Writing Instructor at York University and at writing centres at the University of Toronto. He managed the Writing Centre at the University of Calgary for four years, and currently serves as a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan where he teaches rhetorical communication. Ghaffar is the editor of the volume History, Imperialism, Critique: New Essays in World Literature (Routledge, 2018), which focuses on an anticolonial tradition of critique that was first recognized by Timothy Brennan.  His PhD dissertation, Muslims in World Literature: Political Philosophy and Continental Thought, will be published with Routledge in 2020, and focuses on Indo-Pakistani writers such as Zulfikar Ghose.  Ghaffar’s debut collection of poetry, Wasps in a Golden Dream Hum a Strange Music, was published with ECW Press, and a forthcoming collection, SS Komagata Maru, was nominated for the K.M. Hunter Award in Literature.  His work has appeared in Literary Review of Canada and The New Quarterly among others.


Wasps in a Golden Dream Hum a Strange Music

Toronto: ECW Press, 2008.
PS8613 .H34 W37 2008

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

“In the age of increasing surveillance of borders, the border is where every thing significant occurs; map the border and you begin to understand the pulse of a nation,” Asher Ghaffar writes in the introduction to Wasps in a Golden Dream Hum a Strange Music, his debut collection of poetry. In 2003, he was stopped at the Wagah border post, where hundreds gather to watch the spectacle of the aggressive flag-lowering ceremony on both the Indian and Pakistani side.

Deploying the Wagah border literally and metaphorically, Ghaffar movingly describes the affective dimensions of “race” from the position of second-generation Canadian-born Muslim immigrant, deftly interrogating media depictions of the War on Terrorism. As Ghaffar writes: “I saw an ocean between two worlds / where flowers burst like paper rage.”


Publisher ECW Press