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Javeria Kausar

Doctoral Student in Creative Writing - Javeria’s thesis is entitled ‘Choices of the Oppressed: Writing Choice-Based Fiction Using Theatre of the Oppressed Methods to Enable Muslim Minorities and Challenge Majority Assumptions’

Research Project Title:

Choices of the Oppressed: Writing Choice-Based Fiction Using Theatre of the Oppressed Methods to Enable Muslim Minorities and Challenge Majority Assumptions

 

Supervisors:

Prof Preti Taneja, Prof Neelam Srivastava + Prof Jo Robinson

Contact Details:

Email: j.kausar2@newcastle.ac.uk 

 

Research Interests:

  • Islamophobia
  • Hate speech
  • Fake news
  • Stereotypes
  • Conspiracy theories and how they spread
  • Biased media outlets’ role in spreading and reinforcing hate, racism, and stereotypes
  • Social media’s role in spreading and reinforcing hate, racism, and stereotypes
  • Double standards in dealing with crimes
  • Whataboutism
  • Erasure and Revision of History
  • Misrepresentation of Muslims and Islam
  • Psychological inoculation
  • Prebunking
  • Serious games
  • Choice-Based games and fiction aimed at social good
  • Second Person POV
  • Branching narratives
  • Non-linear narratives
  • Breaking the Fourth wall
  • Theatre of the Oppressed
  • Forum Theatre
  • Accessibility of interactive theatre and fiction
  • Interactivity

Brief Outline of Research Project:

I am writing choice-based fiction (CBF) based on Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) to tackle Islamophobia.

TO allows spectators to become “spect-actors” and replace a play’s oppressed protagonist; they can then test various strategies to overcome oppression, thereby rehearsing for real-life action. However, TO is inaccessible to many due to psychological and physical barriers. Despite TO going online with COVID-19, technological barriers exist.

CBF and TO have striking similarities—audiences become the protagonist and influence the narrative. Written fiction can be a safe, fun space to explore oppression. I will exploit the unique characteristics of TO and CBF to develop a literary form aimed at social justice.

My book is set in a fictional country (inspired by real-world countries) steeped in Islamophobia. Readers can read/play from the perspectives of victims, witnesses, and perpetrators of Islamophobia. I aim to give agency to the Muslim minority, inspire the bystanders to act, and challenge non-Muslim majority assumptions and prejudice, thereby sparking reflection. My critical research examines how TO, CBF, and short fiction (particularly through second person POV) have tried to give agency to readers and challenge assumptions, what their limitations are, and how my new form can help do this with greater impact.

Publications:

Funding and Awards:

I have been awarded the Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship for my studies.

 

Honourable Mention - July 2022

Story Shares’ first Bestseller Challenge. From among the several books that are part of the Story Shares library, 110 fan favourites were shortlisted for the challenge. My novelette, Erin & the Indian Bride, was among the top 6 best-selling works. This was based on sales during the #PaperbacksThatGiveBack campaign, aimed at promoting global literacy by donating a free book for every book sold.

 

Second Runner-up - Dec 2021

International short fiction contest conducted by Sarojini Naidu Vanita Maha Vidyalaya (a college affiliated to Osmania University), Hyderabad, on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Arundhati Roy – The Champion of Humanity

 

Second Runner-up - 2019

Intercollegiate on-the-spot script-writing contest hosted by the English and Foreign Languages University

 

Gold Medallist (BA) - 2019

Best student in the undergraduate program

 

Certificate of Appreciation - 2019

Felicitated in Maris Stella College, for my “creativity, imagination and literary skills”

 

Winner (Group) - 2018

Maris Stella College Drama contest – I wrote and directed majority of the play.

 

Winner - 2017

Damodarshree National Award for Academic Excellence

A national-level essay writing, presentation, and defence contest in two levels. The finale entailed defending

the essay in front of a panel of esteemed professors in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Prize: 2,00,000 INR

 

Second Runner-up - 2017

Paper presentation contest (my topic: “How can our homes, colleges, cities be gender sensitive”) in the national-level workshop on “Moving Towards Synergetic Convergence of Society for Equal Rights and Opportunities for Girls and

Young Women” organised by Dept. of Social Work (Maris Stella) and Mahita-Plan International

 

First Runner-up - 2017

Essay Writing contest conducted by the Election Commission of India on the eve of National Voters’ Day Celebrations

 

Winner - 2016

Maris Stella College – Constitution Day Debate Competition (Group)

 

First Runner-up - 2016

Maris Stella College – Constitution Day Elocution Competition

 

First Runner-up - 2015

Maris Stella College – 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar – Paper Presentation Competition

 

Second Runner-up - 2015

Maris Stella College – Competition in Narration

Academic Background:

  • MA English, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad (India)
  • BA Literature, Maris Stella College (affiliated to Krishna University), Vijayawada (India)

 

Website:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/javeria-kausar-a170b911a

Latest Interview: https://www.storyshares.org/blog/javeria/