New Faculty Spotlight

Ather Zia, Ph.D.

ziaAther Zia has a doctorate degree from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Irvine. She also has two Masters Degrees; one in Communications from California State University Fullerton and another in Journalism from Kashmir University. As faculty member in the Anthropology Department and Gender Studies Program, Ather teaches courses in Anthropology and Gender Studies. Her research interests include Political Anthropology, Anthropology of Human Rights, Gender, Women’s Rights, Social Justice, Women’s Studies, Feminist Studies, Islam and Gender, Law, Justice, Social movements, Civil Society, Memory, Body, Performance, Agency, South Asian Cultures, War/Militarization, Conflict, Terrorism, Colonialism/Post-colonialism, Armed Insurgency, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, South Asia and Latin America.

Ather has been a journalist with BBC World service. She has also done a brief stint as a civil servant with the Kashmir government which in a lighter vein she refers to as her *pre-pre-preliminary fieldwork*. She is a published author and columnist. Her essays and creative work including fiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of magazines. She has also published her first collection of poems titled “The Frame.” In 2013 she won the second prize for ethnographic poetry on Kashmir from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology (American Anthropological Association). She is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit, a journal based on writings on Kashmir at She has been elected to the board of Society of Humanistic Anthropology (SHA) of the Anthropological Association of America (2015-2016) and is also the book review editor "elect" (2017), for the Anthropology News (Association for Feminist Anthropology Section).

Ather is currently working on a book manuscript based on her doctoral research on militarization, gender, and human rights abuses in Kashmir. Her fieldwork has been supported by a number of organizations including International Wenner Gren & Osmundsen Initiative, American Association of University Women, Phi Beta Kappa, DARD MAGNUS, International Peace Research Association Foundation, Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, Global Peace and Conflict Studies, & Center for Asian Studies – UC Irvine, and Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley.

Ather’s other major writing projects include co-editing a reader on Kashmir titled “They Gave Us Blood': Narratives of Normalcy, Sacrifice, and Terror in Kashmir" and an untitled non-fiction anthology based on ethnographic narratives of politics in Kashmir with Harper Collins.


New Faculty

Karla Del Carpio Ovando, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Ather Zia, CR Lecturer of Gender Studies and Anthropology

Sarah Goodrum, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Cynthia Melendrez, CR Lecturer of Hispanic Studies

Mary Evans, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

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