Dr. Sadaf Munshi
Dr. Sadaf Munshi is a US-based documentary linguist, writer, poet, critic, musician and visual artist of Kashmiri origin. A Professor and former Chair of the Department of Linguistics at the University of North Texas, her research focuses on the documentation of endangered linguistic and poetic traditions of Kashmir and adjoining areas. Dr. Munshi has done almost two decades of extensive fieldwork and conducted various training workshops in India and Pakistan. A polyglot, she writes in Kashmiri (her mother tongue), English and Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu). Her satirical ballads in Kashmiri have been broadcast on the state television in Jammu & Kashmir. In 2021, a collection of her English poems appeared in a special issue of The Punch – a leading literary magazine in India. Munshi is also a self-taught visual artist having produced numerous pieces of art in oil, watercolor, and multimedia. An exhibition of her paintings organized by the Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in 2014 was the first solo painting exhibition by a female artist of Kashmiri origin.She has been featured in numerous regional and international media outlets for her contributions in linguistics, creative writing and visual arts. While exploring the poetic and musical traditions of South and Central Asia, Munshi started learning one of the earliest musical instruments of Iran and Kashmir, viz., santūr. Her exposure to santūr has been instrumental in enriching her understanding of the Kashmiri and Persian language and music through poetry and song. She has since leveraged this understanding to work with world-class musicians on the Voices and Bridges Project as a linguistic and academic advisor.