Masood Ashraf Raja

Masood Ashraf Raja
Native name مسعود اشرف راجہ
Born 1965
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Residence Denton, Texas
Nationality Pakistani
Other names Masood Ashraf
Education Doctor of Philosophy
Alma mater Florida State University
Occupation Educator
Employer University of North Texas
Notable work The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016)

Originally from Pakistan, Masood Ashraf Raja (Urdu: مسعود اشرف راجہ) is an Associate Professor[1] of Postcolonial literature and Theory at the University of North Texas[2] and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies,[3] an open access[4] journal that he founded in 2009.[5] Besides teaching and writing about issues of postcoloniality, globalisation, and political Islam, Raja also actively participates in the public debates[6] through his public writing on his two blogs[7] as well as other popular and scholarly websites.[8] Raja moved to the United States in 1996,[9] after ten years of service in the Pakistan Army as an Infantry officer.[10] Raja graduated with a Masters in literature from Belmont University[11] in 2002, and earned his PhD[12] in Postcolonial Studies from Florida State University[13] in 2006, where he studied with Robin Truth Goodman.[14] While at Belmont University, Raja 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.[15] A strong proponent of peace, social justice, and human rights, Raja hopes to foster a better understanding between his primary culture and rest of the world. Raja's last monograph, Constructing Pakistan, (Oxford University Press, 2010),[16] 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 also published extensively in his area of study and on general academic topics in various academic journals and anthologies.[17] Raja is also a member of the Advisory Committee (2009–12) of PMLA,[18] the premier journal of literature and languages and was also recently elected to a five-year term on the Executive Committee of the South Asian Studies Group, Modern Language Association.[19] Besides his academic and popular writings, Raja has also actively presented his views at academic conferences[20] as well as through public talks.[21]

Recently, Raja has also 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[22] and to Aljazeera English on a story about the Blasphemy law in Pakistan.[23] Having recently won a million dollar grant from the US State Department, Raja is now also the Director of a partnership program between University of North Texas and the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.[24]

Masood Ashraf Raja continues to contribute his thoughts on issues of social justice, political Islam, and issues of Human rights.[25]


Raja has published extensively on issues related to postcolonial studies, political Islam, and about Pakistan and the region. Besides his academic work, Raja also writes poetry[26] and fiction.[27] Raja's most recent book The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America provides a comparison of striking resembelenaces between the Taliban and the ultra-Right in the US.[28]

Major Publications

The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016.

Critical Pedagogy and Global Literature: Worldly Teaching. (Co-edited with hillary Stringer and Zach VandeZande) Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013.

The Postnational Fantasy: Nationalism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction. (Co-edited with Jason W. Ellis and Swaralipi Nandi). McFarland Press, 2011.

Constructing Pakistan: Foundational Texts and the Rise of Muslim National Identity 1857-1947. Oxford University Press, 2010.


  1. "Reflections of Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty". Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  2. "Raja, Masood Ashraf (Faculty Profile)". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. "A Journal of Pakistan Studies". Pakistaniaat. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  4. "Open Access World". Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  5. 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". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  6. 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.
  7. and
  8. and
  9. "Masood A. Raja: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  10. Reflections by an ex-army officer by Masood Raja. "Reflections by an ex-army officer | ColumnNews". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  11. "Courses Offered in the M.A. – Belmont University". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  12. "Title page for ETD etd-06132006-133645". 12 May 2006. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  13. "The English Department at Florida State University". 10 July 2002. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  14. "The English Department at Florida State University". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  15. The awards information is available on this page under "Honors and Recognition Section":"Raja, Masood Ashraf (Faculty Profile)". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  16. "Oxford University Press: Constructing Pakistan: Masood Ashraf Raja". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  17. See a list of publications here:
  18. "PMLA Advisory Committee". 2 July 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  19. "Discussion Group Executive Committees". 10 January 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  20. "SDPI Conference". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  21. Here is a selected list of public talks:
  22. Batheja, Aman (5 May 2011). "North Texas Pakistanis cheer action against bin Laden | Dallas | News from Fort Worth, D". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  23. Listening Post (18 March 2011). "What is all the buzz about Japan? – Listening Post". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  24. "Raja Wins Million Dollar Grant". UNT Department of English. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  25. More details about speaking engagements: and
  26. "Spot On". Nashville Scene. 5 July 1999. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  27. "Postcolonial Studies". 30 January 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  28. "My New Book: The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America". The Pakistan Forum. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
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