Asher Ghaffar

While researching his Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought, Asher Ghaffar worked as a Writing Instructor at York University and in multiple writing centres at the University of Toronto. He is the editor of the forthcoming Routledge anthology History, Imperialism, Critique: New Essays in World Literature (2018). His research monograph, Muslims in World Literature: Political Philosophy and Continental Thought, is forthcoming with Routledge in 2019.  His most recent published essay on Zulfikar Ghose and Hanif Kureishi will appear in The Routledge Anthology to Pakistani Anglophone Writing: Origins, Contestations, New Horizons, edited by Aroosa Kanwal and Saiyma Masood. In his current role, Asher is passionate about helping students develop their academic writing and analytical skills, and collaborating with staff and faculty to design innovative approaches to teaching writing across the disciplines. In addition to working on his interdisciplinary dissertation, Asher is a creative writer. His first book of poetry was published with ECW Press, and a second collection is forthcoming. Asher’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Medical Post, Literary Review of Canada and The New Quarterly. Ghaffar was born in Canada but his family roots are in Pakistan.


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