Maaz Bin Bilal earned his PhD from the School of English, Queen’s University Belfast, in 2015 for his dissertation, “From Hellenism to Orientalism: Friendship in E. M. Forster, with Reference to Forrest Reid.” The dissertation analyzes the aesthetic, philosophical, and political development of the representation of friendship across Forster’s fictive oeuvre, moving from the emphasis on Classical-Greco-Roman and Medieval-Renaissance-European humanism to Oriental traditions of camaraderie such as in Urdu poetry.
Maaz continues to research on ideas of friendship, multiculturalism, and secularism in literature and society, particularly in the Indian context. He is also a poet and a translator and translates from Urdu and Hindi into English. His critical, creative, and translated work has been published in a number of journals and anthologies. His other research and teaching interests include modernism, literature and religion, postcolonialism, South-Asian Muslim identity, Sufism, Urdu poetry with a particular emphasis on Ghalib and Faiz, academic writing, literary theory, film studies, Irish poetry, Indian English poetry, and philosophy and literature.
In the past, Maaz has held teaching positions at Ashoka University, Queen’s University Belfast, and a number of colleges at the University of Delhi, including Lady Shri Ram College. It was also at the University of Delhi that he studied for his BA (Zakir Husain College), MA (St. Stephen’s College), and MPhil (Department of English, North Campus) in English literature.
He has presented his research work on E. M. Forster, friendship, postcolonial fiction, and documentaries on communal riots at various national and international conferences, including those at St. Andrews University; Durham University; University of Toulouse—Jean Jaurès; Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast; Centre for Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore; and Centre of Study of Social Sciences, Calcutta.
Maaz currently teaches core literature courses to the liberal arts students at Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities. Football and films are his other passionate interests.