Dr. Rahat Imran, Marie Curie IF, Jan 2020 – Dec 2021, University College Cork

PhD Research:

Dr. Rahat Imran’s interdisciplinary doctoral research and writing is focused on the emergence of activist, and human-rights-oriented documentary filmmaking practices in Pakistan. This includes a focus on documentary cinema as counter-history documentation against religious fundamentalism, gender-discriminatory Sharia laws, tribal practices, and human rights violations. The study introduces the emergence of two new activist and political cinema paradigms that the author define as ‘Cinema of Accountability,’ and ‘Cinema on Terror,’ respectively.

Full text of the PhD thesis is online at the Simon Fraser University (SFU), British Columbia, Canada.


  • Marie Curie BREMEN-TRAC COFUND Post-doctoral Fellowship in Cinema Studies (2013-2015), Department of Film Studies, Media Studies, and Media Education, Excellence Initiative, Elite University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • PhD Cinema Studies, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada
  • MA Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada
  • MA English, University of the Punjab, Lahore Pakistan
  • BA Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore, Pakistan

Academic positions held:

  • Marie Curie Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland
  • Associate Professor, School of Creative Arts (SOCA), University of Lahore, Pakistan
  • Assistant Professor, Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS), University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Visiting Professor, National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, Pakistan
  • Marie Curie BREMEN-TRAC Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Bremen, Germany
  • Teaching Assistant, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada

Areas of education, teaching, research, and organizational expertise:

Cinema Studies; Communication Studies; Women’s Studies and Gender Issues; Autobiography; Activist Cinema and Theatre; Interdisciplinary and Feminist Approaches in Research; Education and Curriculum Development; Communication and Pedagogical Approaches through Film Media for Social Change; Human Rights; Minority and Interfaith Issues; Islamization and Religious Fundamentalism; Women and Gender Issues in Muslim Societies and Cultures; Women and Religion; Area Studies/Gender Issues in South Asia/Iran/Afghanistan; Cultural Studies; Postcolonial Studies; Third World issues; Research Methodologies in Social Sciences; English Literature.

Additionally, since 1986 Dr. Rahat Imran has experience working in English newspapers (Pakistan); freelance editor for English language publications; editor by invitation for peer-reviewed international journals; coordinator for international film festivals in Canada; organizer for cultural events and discussion forums; consultant for university-level curriculum development.


Research Monograph

Rahat Imran: Activist Documentary Film in Pakistan: The Emergence of a Cinema of Accountability. Routledge Publishers, Taylor & Francis Group, UK, USA, 2016. (Hardback edition). Paperback edition: 2018. Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Taylor & Francis Group, UK.

This monograph is the first academic book on Pakistani documentary cinema.

Book Chapter

Imran, Rahat. “Mukhtaran Mai’s Transformation From Gang-rape Victim to the Feminist Face of Glamour: Transcending Notions of Tribal Honour, Gender, and Class.” Re-writing Women as Victims: From Theory to Practice. Eds.: M. J. Gámez Fuentes, S. Núñez Puente, and E. Gómez Nicolau. Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Madrid, Spain, Routledge Publishers, Taylor & Francis Group, Sexualities and Genders Series, 2019.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Imran, Rahat. “Locating the Storyteller in Silent Waters:Sabiha Sumar’s Cinematic Tale of Shared Histories and Divided Identities.” CINEJ Cinema Journal, University of Pittsburgh, USA. Volume 9, No. 2. Fall 2021. DOI:

Imran, Rahat, and Munir, Imran. “Defying Marginalization: Emergence of Women’s Organizations and Resistance Movement in Pakistan: An Historical Overview.” Journal of International Women’s Studies, USA, Volume 19, # 6, 2018, 132-156. (619 downloads since August 2018).

Imran, Rahat. “John Pilgers’ Documentary Film: Stealing a Nation. Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal. The International Association of Genocide Studies, USA, Volume 11: Iss. 2, 2017, 125-128. (210 downloads since October 2017).

Imran, Rahat. “Feminist Perspectives on Physical and Sexual Violence Against Women: Pakistan as a Case Study.” Femeris. Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain. Volume 2, Number 2, 2017, 81-98. (Download data not available).

Imran, Rahat. “Deconstructing Islamization in Pakistan:Sabiha Sumar Wages Feminist Cinematic Jihad through a Documentary Lens.” Journal of International Women’s Studies, USA, Vol. 9, # 3, 2008, 117-154. (973 downloads since January 2013).

Imran, Rahat. “Legal Injustices: The Zina Hudood Ordinance of Pakistan and its Implications for Women.” Journal of International Women’s Studies, USA,Vol.7, #2, 2005, 78-100. (8, 385 downloads since January 2013).

Encyclopaedia Entry

Imran, Rahat. “Cinema: Films Made by Women Screen Writers, Directors, Producers: Women Documentary Filmmakers: Pakistan.” Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, Brill, Ed. Suad Joseph et al. Brill Reference Online, June 2010. (Download data not available). This is the first encyclopaedia entry on Pakistani women documentary filmmakers. 5,126-word article by invitation of the encyclopaedia editors.