Hello, I’m Aslam Kakar! I am a Ph.D. student in Global Affairs and an adjunct faculty in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University—New Brunswick, where I teach U.S. Defense Policy.
My Ph.D. research explores issues at the intersection of conflict, social movements and justice with focus on Pakistan and Turkey. My work has appeared in one of the leading publications, Waging Nonviolence, in the field of social movements.
I write on issues of justice, power and international relations. In my free time, I read (for fun) about major topics in humanities and social sciences such as politics, history, religion, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology and more.
Reading about these subjects has helped me develop, to borrow a term from medical science, peripheral vision about the social and political worlds whose most aspects often overlap.
This blog is a place where as a graduate student I spend my time writing about my research, everyday successes, failures, fears, curiosities and much more. I am a writer who might grow up to a real author someday but sure isn’t there yet.
Writing is a cathartic exercise and an aesthetic experience for me. As an incrementalist, I believe to be a better writer is to build little by little. I don’t believe there is a magic wand for becoming a great writer. All great books in the world came to be with the start of a single sentence and then the next.
When I am not reading or writing, I play with cats, listen to music, binge-watch action movies, talk with friends and have adventures along the way, from paragliding to enjoying nature walks.
This spares me the feeling of what the Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge terms “experiential poverty”— in other words, boredom from the supposedly meaningful experiences of life.
I feel sometimes peeling off an orange is a worthy life experience. Eating it afterwards is even worthier. Thank you for visiting The Authorling. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.