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Student profile

Varda Nisar

Varda Nisar (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Concordia’s Department of Art History in the Faculty of Fine Arts. She has been actively involved in centering art education and community outreach in her former role as the founder of a children's art festival in Karachi, and later as the head of educational programming for the Karachi Biennale.

Varda was a 2015-16 Arthink South Asia Fellow and worked with Spark Arts for Children as part of her secondment. In 2021, she organized and convened a speaker series titled, "(Art+Micro)History: Contemporary Artistic Voices from the South," which drew attention to the specific concerns and artistic modes of resistance in Pakistan. Her current doctoral research focuses on the role that museums in Pakistan are playing in nation-building by positioning them within the global political dynamic.

Thesis Title: Working Title: Tracing the links between museums, modernity and military regimes in Pakistan

Supervisor: Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim

Research Interests: 

  • Postcolonial Museum
  • Global South
  • Critical Visuality
  • Pedagogy
  • Social Justice


  • ARTH 391 Art & its Changing Contexts: Museums & Social Justice, Fall 2023

Teaching Assistantships:

  • FFAR 250 Keywords Reading the Arts Across the Disciplines Interdisciplinarity in Action, Instructor: Sandra Huber (Fall/Winter 2022-2023); maya rae oppenheimer (Fall/Winter 2021-2022, 2020-2021)
  • ARTH 200 Perspectives of Art History, Fall/Winter 2019-2020, Instructor: Anja Bock

Research Assistantship:

  • Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim, Worlding Public Cultures, 2020-2023


  • re* imagining / créer / building / faire / mapping / connaissance /…
    Multi-venue exhibition, co-curated with Lorraine Doucet Sisto, and Manar Abo Touk as part of the “Worlding Tiohtià:ke/Montreal: Bridging Knowledges, Practices, and Beings”/ « Mondes de Tiohtià:ke/Montréal : Mettre en relation les savoirs, les pratiques et les êtres » colloquium and is exhibited at 

Courtyard, FOFA Gallery, 9th March – 1st June 2023

Main Space, FOFA Gallery, 9th March – 6th April 2023
Vitrine, Webster Library, 31st March – 1st June 2023
Artists include rudi aker, Pansee Atta, Amin Rehman, and Swapnaa Tamhane.


  • (Art+Micro) History: Contemporary Artistic Voices from the South | Invited speakers: Shahana Rajani and Zahra Malkani (25th October 2021) and Fazal Rizvi (25th November 2021).
  • Moderator, "The Open Letter Format: Invoking the Power of Public Response via Curatorial Strategies," part of Curating During Covid19 Incubator Series, 2020-2021.

Social Media:

  • Instagram: varda.nisar
  • Threads: varda.nisar
  • LinkedIn: vardanisar
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