Dr Munira Cheema

Post:Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies (Media and Film)

Research expertise:
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My research is at the intersection of media and politics. My work focuses on concepts of the public sphere (broadcast/digital), counter publics (gendered, Muslim) and citizenship within the context of competing pressures of economic liberalisation and religious conservatism in Pakistani (also Muslim/Post-colonial) mediated contexts. This research focus is drawn from ethnographic field work and both audience and production interviews in Pakistan. This focus on Pakistani TV culture also informs UK and US debates in feminist media studies, critical race and postcolonial studies. It speaks to the specifics of Pakistan and other South Asian media cultures and engages transnational issues of race and gender in the global diaspora and Western democracies.

My doctoral project titled `The production and reception of gendered content in Pakistani TV culture’ explored the utility of the concepts of the public sphere, publics and citizenship within Pakistani context. Out of this study, a peer-reviewed chapter titled `Producing Domestic Abuse in Pakistani Television: Between Commerce, Ratings and Social Responsibility’ has already been published in Television for Women: New Directions edited by Wheatley, H. and Moseley, R. (Routledge, 2016). I have converted my PhD project into a book titled Women and TV Culture in Pakistan: Islam, Gender and National Identity published by I.B. Tauris (2018). 

My postdoctoral project explores the participation of female politicians in the mediated public sphere and how it speaks to gender-based issues in post-colonial context. I evaluate the limitations to debate and deliberation on current-affairs based talk shows in Pakistani TV Culture and how online public sphere allows politicians to engage with gendered issues. My first chapter in this area titled `Understanding the Gender Dynamics of Current Affairs Talk Shows in the Pakistani Television Industry’ has been published in Women in Media and Politics: Perspectives from Nations in Transition (Bloomsbury, 2014).

My 9 years of teaching experience includes convening and teaching at both BA and MA level in different British HEA institutions (Roehampton, UAL and Sussex). 


Conference papers


Pakistani Drama Serials: Offering Space for Social Awareness in the Region at the 69th Annual International Communication Association Conference, Washington, 28th May, 2019

The place of Television in Pakistan, MFM, Research Seminar Series, University of Sussex, 27th March, 2019


The New Woman of Post-Partition Pakistan: The Case of Fatima Jinnah at the conference on 1948 - Seventy Years On, University of Sussex, 9th November, 2018


Invited panelist on Women in Politics and Media in International Communication Division’s programming of AEJMC on August 9th -11th, 2017, in Chicago.

Revisiting patriotism: The rise of liberal Pakistan on social media in the symposium on Ethnicities, Counter-publics, Appropriation and Social Media at Keele University on 8th June, 2017.


The Rise of Crime Shows in Pakistani Television Culture in the conference on Capitalism, Crime and Media at the University of Winchester on 22nd April. 


  • Engagement Patterns of female viewers with gendered content in Pakistani television culture at the Conference on Television for Women, hosted by University of Warwick, 15th-17th May 2013


  • Assessing Power of TRASH TV in Pakistani television culture at a Conference titled TRASH hosted by School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex, 13th-14th September, 2012.


  • New Trends in Pakistani Television Culture: Revisiting audience research at the Transforming Audience 3 Conference hosted by University of Westminster, 1-2 September, 2011.


  • Textual Analysis of Gender-based content in Pakistani television culture at the Gender, Politics and Reality TV Conference hosted by University College Dublin, 25th-27th August, 2011


  • Identifying New Trends in Pakistani television culture using textual analysis at the 8th Annual MeCSSA Conference held by University of Bournemouth on 5th and 6th July, 2011


  • Demystifying mediated public sphere in Pakistan: A study in relation to gender-based content at the Conference on Demystifying Public Engagement: Gender and Sexuality Studies beyond Academy organized by Department of English at the University of Newcastle held on May 12, 2011.


Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies 

Convenor BA Cultural Studies

Convenor MA Cultural and Creative Industries