Nushrat Azam

Proposed Title

Silence of the Mirror: Gender Performance and Multiple Identities of Female Characters belonging to South Asian backgrounds


This research project has two related aims: to write a piece of creative fiction and a supporting exegesis. My purpose in writing this novel is to analyse the concepts of the "self" and the "other" through the representation of the female characters and thus contribute to the literature on gender and identity of contemporary women. It will also compare and analyze female characters; how they changed and evolved in their voice and identity from the ones portrayed in post-colonial literature. In its investigation, the research hopes to discover how a female character struggles with multiple identities and how these identities contribute to the gaps in silence and voice. The exegetical section will analyse the writings of selected South Asian women authors and focus on comparing the representation of the "Other," the construction of multiple identities in the selected post-colonial texts, and my creative piece. The research will show how these multiple identities overpower voices with silence. I will be using Simone De Beauvoir's (2011) concept of "the other" and showcase how the concept of the "other" is represented in my creative project. The study aims to explore the techniques from selected texts used by women authors to portray the gaps in voice and silence. The comparative analysis will focus on identifying the similarities or differences in factors contributing to the construction of multiple identities. The research hypothesizes that the construction of various identities due to societal norms, beliefs, and prejudices contributed to the characters being "the other.”

Why I chose Charles Sturt

I am a Lecturer in the School of Communications, Language & Literature at Fiji National University in Suva, Fiji. I am an active researcher with a keen interest in feminism, voices, and gender studies focused on gender performativity. My master's thesis focused on the voices and silences of female characters in Postcolonial Literature. I have been passionate about writing and telling stories and have written short stories focusing on the theme of women's empowerment, identity, and voices in an International Feminist Magazine (Roar). My book "The Girl with a Mirror" (A Collection of Short Stories) got published in June 2021. I realized my passion for writing and exploring the unexplored, unspoken, and hidden aspects of Gender. Therefore, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature.

In 2021, I started exploring Ph.D. opportunities and discussing research intent with experts around the globe. I eventually found an incredible supervisory team at Charles Sturt University who were enthusiastic about my research project and keen on taking me on board. Charles Sturt University has a dedicated research environment, and under the guidance of my experienced supervisors, I shall learn, gather knowledge, and pursue a fulfilling Ph.D. I started my Ph.D. at Charles Sturt University as an online student in 2022. I received the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) scholarship and joined as a Full Time Ph.D. Researcher in Bathurst Campus in March 2023. My research project aligns with Charles Sturt University's research narrative on flourishing communities.


  • Reviewer for the International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS)
  • Reviewer for Mualim Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities
  • Reviewer for Milenium Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences


  • Azam, N. 2022. Heroines of the Postcolonial Era –Comparison of Portrayals of Feminine Voices in J. M. Coetzee’s Foe and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. European Journal of Literature, Language & Linguistic Studies. 6 (1), pp: 95-107
  • Azam, N. 2021. The Girl with a Mirror: A Collection of Short Stories. Suva: Pacific Studies Press.
  • Azam, N, September, 2021. The Ship that Sailed – Daddy’s Diaries. Roar Fierce Feminine Rising Magazine.
  • Azam, N, May, 2021. Dusting Stones Buried Deep. Roar Fierce Feminine Rising Magazine.
  • Azam, N, July, 2021. Step Away from the Dance Floor. Roar Fierce Feminine Rising Magazine.
  • Azam, N, Dec, 2020. Unspread Wings. Roar Fierce Feminine Rising Magazine.
  • Azam, N.2019. Prejudice in Joseph Conrad’s Post-Colonial Novel Heart of Darkness. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature. 8(5), pp: 116-121.
  • Azam, N. 2018. Sustainability through bridging the gaps of Gender. Fiji Teacher’s Union Journal.
  • Azam, N. 2018. She and her men” A Feminist Critique of “Voice” and the “Other” in J.M. Coetzee’s Postcolonial Novel Foe. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature. 7(7), pp: 164-170.
  • Azam, N. 2017. Madwoman in the Post-Colonial Era: A Study of the Female Voice in Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature. 7(7), pp: 236-242.

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