Masood Ashraf Raja

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Masood Ashraf Raja
مسعود اشرف راجہ
Born1965 (age 57–58)
CitizenshipPakistani (1955-96)
American (1996-present)
EducationMaster of Arts (Literature) and Doctor of Philosophy (Postcolonial Studies)
Alma materBelmont University and Florida State
EmployerUniversity of North Texas
Notable workDemocratic Criticism: Poetics of Incitement and the Muslim Sacred. (Lever Press, 2023)
SpouseJenny Caneen-Raja[1]

Masood Ashraf Raja (Urdu: مسعود اشرف راجہ) is a Pakistani-born American writer. Previously, he was an associate professor of postcolonial literature and theory at the University of North Texas.[2][3] He is also the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies, an open access journal that he founded in 2009.[4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Raja moved to the United States in 1996,[7] after ten years of service in the Pakistan Army as an Infantry officer.[8]

Raja graduated with a Masters in literature from Belmont University in 2002,[9] where he was awarded the Graduate Writing Award and at Florida State he was awarded the Davis Award for Best Graduate Student and Davis Award for best dissertation in 2005 and 2006, respectively.[10]

Raja earned his PhD in postcolonial studies from Florida State University in 2006, where he studied with Robin Truth Goodman.[11][12][13]


Besides teaching and writing about issues of postcoloniality, globalisation, and political Islam, Raja also actively participates in the public debates[14] through his public writing on his two blogs[15] as well as other popular and scholarly websites.[16][17]

Raja's monograph, Constructing Pakistan, (Oxford University Press, 2010),[18] is an interesting explanation of the rise of Muslim national political identity during the British Raj and offers an innovative explanation of the genesis of the idea of Pakistan. Raja has published extensively in his area of study and on general academic topics in various academic journals and anthologies.[19] Raja is a member of the Advisory Committee (2009–12) of PMLA,[20] the premier journal of literature and languages and was elected to a five-year term on the Executive Committee of the South Asian Studies Group, Modern Language Association.[21] Besides his academic and popular writings, Raja has actively presented his views at academic conferences[22] as well as through public talks.[23]

Raja has contributed his views on various issues related to the Islamic world and Pakistan to newspapers such as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on a story on Osama bin Laden[24] and to Aljazeera English on a story about the Blasphemy law in Pakistan.[25]

Having won a million dollar grant from the US State Department, Raja is the Director of a partnership program between the University of North Texas and the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad.[26]

Raja continues to contribute his thoughts on issues of social justice, political Islam, and issues of human rights.[27][28]


Raja has published extensively on issues related to postcolonial studies, political Islam, and about Pakistan and the region. Besides his academic work, he also writes poetry[29] and fiction.[30]

Year Title Co-editors Publisher
2010 Constructing Pakistan: Foundational Texts
and the Rise of Muslim National Identity 1857-1947
- Oxford University Press
2011 The Postnational Fantasy: Nationalism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction Jason W. Ellis

Swaralipi Nandi

McFarland & Company
2013 Critical Pedagogy and Global Literature: Worldly Teaching Hillary Stringer

Zach VandeZande

Palgrave Macmillan
2016 The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America -
2019 ISIS: Ideology, Symbolics, and Counter Narratives[31] - Routledge
2023 Democratic Criticism: Poetics of Incitement and the Muslim Sacred - Lever Press


  1. ^ Raja, Masood. "About".
  2. ^ "Reflections of Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Raja, Masood Ashraf (Faculty Profile)". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  4. ^ "A Journal of Pakistan Studies". Pakistaniaat. Archived from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Open Access World". Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  6. ^ Monica Esquibel (16 September 2009). "English Department alum combats Pakistan stereotypes / In the News / News & Recognitions / The Graduate School / FSU – Florida State University The Graduate School". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Masood A. Raja: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  8. ^ Reflections by an ex-army officer by Masood Raja. "Reflections by an ex-army officer | ColumnNews". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Courses Offered in the M.A. – Belmont University". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Raja, Masood Ashraf (Faculty Profile)". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Title page for ETD etd-06132006-133645". 12 May 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  12. ^ "The English Department at Florida State University". Archived from the original on 12 July 2006.
  13. ^ "The English Department at Florida State University". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  14. ^ Wicket, Sticky. "Political Apathy Crosses all Racial & Ethnic Barriers: Obama, President of this Nation, not just Minority Groups". USA Rise Up. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  15. ^ and
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Oxford University Press: Constructing Pakistan: Masood Ashraf Raja". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  19. ^ "Postcolonial Studies". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  20. ^ "PMLA Advisory Committee". 2 July 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  21. ^ "Discussion Group Executive Committees". 10 January 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  22. ^ "SDPI Conference". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  23. ^ Raja, Masood. "Expertise - Masood Raja". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  24. ^ Batheja, Aman (5 May 2011). "North Texas Pakistanis cheer action against bin Laden | Dallas | News from Fort Worth, D". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  25. ^ Listening Post (18 March 2011). "What is all the buzz about Japan? – Listening Post". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  26. ^ "Raja Wins Million Dollar Grant". UNT Department of English. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  27. ^ "Profile Dr Masood Ashraf Raja Public Speaker". Archived from the original on 19 February 2011.
  28. ^ "Belmont Vision". Archived from the original on 5 September 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  29. ^ "Spot On". Nashville Scene. 5 July 1999. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  30. ^ "Postcolonial Studies". 30 January 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  31. ^ Raja, Masood. "ISIS:Ideology, Symbolics, and Counter Narratives". Routledge. Retrieved 12 February 2019.

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