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Dr Omer Aijazi

Dr Omer Aijazi
Lecturer in Global Challenges


I am an anti-disciplinary scholar, critical theorist, and ethnographer of South Asia, working on questions of violence and social repair in the borderlands of the disputed territory of Kashmir and its continuity with Northern Pakistan. I also study the afterlife of disasters in the Himalayas and beyond. Noting the erasure of non-normative lifeworlds, particularly  in the design of lifesaving and life-sustaining interventions, I write in conversation with decolonial, queer, critical feminist, post-structuralist, Indigenous, subaltern, and critical Muslim thought and how they relate to questions of knowledge construction, human striving, and the waxing and waning of relationships. Collectively, my work seeks to destabilize inherited wisdom on the hyper-vulnerable, non-normative, and extra-ordinarily peripheral.

I take the position that disciplinary knowledge is inherently violent, largely complicit with the colonial project, and capable of inflicting epistemic and material harms. What if we let go of our disciplinary devotions and place ethics, reciprocity, and kinship at the core of our work - what forms of knowledge can then be enabled? Perhaps this way, we can shape a multiplicity of knowledge that is alive to the breath of life - knowledge that is joyous, soulful, and from the heart.

As a former humanitarian worker, I remain committed to community engagement and social policy and strengthening the public dissemination of research. I joined Brunel after completing a dual Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Faculty of Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto. My research has been funded by SSHRC, the United Nations, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC), amongst other funding bodies.


  • PhD, Educational Studies (Interdisciplinary Studies), University of British Columbia   
  • MA, Community and Social Planning, University of British Columbia
  • BBA, Strategic Management, University of Toronto                                                       


  • Pathway Lead (Critical Security), Global Challenges
  • Techne subject group member (culture and heritage - 2021) 

Newest selected publications

Aijazi, O. (2021) 'Why Technocratic Understandings of Humanitarian Accountability Undermine Local Communities'. Development in Practice, 0 (in press). pp. 1 - 13. ISSN: 0961-4524 Open Access Link

Journal article

Aijazi, O., Amburgey, E., Limbu, B., Suji, M., Binks, J., Balaz-Munn, C., et al. (2021) 'The Ethnography of Collaboration: Navigating Power Relationships in Joint Research'. Collaborative Anthropologies, 13 (2). pp. 1 - 56. ISSN: 1943-2550 Open Access Link

Journal article

Aijazi, O. (2020) 'What about Insāniyat? Morality and Ethics in the Pahars of Kashmir'. Himalaya, 40 (1). pp. 30 - 48. ISSN: 1935-2212 Open Access Link

Journal article

Aijazi, O. (2020) 'Affective Politics and Disappearance in Kashmir (Book Review)'. Public Anthropologist, 2 (2). pp. 227 - 232. ISSN: 2589-1707 Open Access Link

Journal article

Aijazi, O., Rankin, H., Jacob, A. and Weinberger, K. (2020) 'Fast-Tracking the SDGs: Driving Asia-Pacific Transformations'. Place of publication: United Nations ESCAP, Asian Development Bank and United Nations Development Program. Available at: Access Link

More publications(24)