Teaching Literary Journalism and Creative Writing, Mohammad Hanif proves an asset to the HU faculty
The Habib University faculty is made up of professionals spanning from varied fields, and bring in riches of experience in both academia and research from several world-renowned universities. Both the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) and the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) boast of a faculty that is a shining example of diversity.
One of the courses that pushes the students to develop interpersonal skills as well as work on their writing prowess is conducted by the celebrated Pakistani author Mohammad Hanif, currently one of the visiting faculty members at Habib University.
Currently teaching Creative Writing to both SSE and AHSS students, Mohammad Hanif has been a member of faculty at Habib University for two semesters. As the instructor of the “Literary Journalism” and “Creative Writing” courses as part of the curriculum’s electives, Mohammad Hanif has generated a lot of positive feedback from his students.
“The Literary Journalism class was about how you can make journalism readable, how great stories must be crafted through greater ideas. During the semester, I shared with the students examples of what I consider to be some of the best journalism from around the world, whether it be English, Urdu, Spanish or anything. Students had to then produce their own piece of long-form journalism, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised”, said Hanif of his class.
For Anas Masood, a Computer Science student from the School of Science and Engineering, the class was an excellent experience to learn and expand his skills.
“I come from a background that doesn’t at all deal with writing, so our writing skills aren’t polished as much. Attending the Literary journalism class helped me develop and refine my skills, it helped me figure out what works and what doesn’t”, said Anas.
“The grading criteria sticks out the most, the main thing for him was coming up with a different news piece, a piece of literary criticism that didn’t sound traditional, and he graded up according to creativity”.
“The class taught by Hanif never feels like one, he possesses this literary aura and tends to inculcate essentials of writing and learning into the students that I hadn’t experienced before. There are remarkable plots of stories in his random comments and suggestions, his criticism is more of an insightful red mark which causes one to realize the inexplicable nuances”, said Jibran Tahir of the Communication Studies and Design program, from the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Uzair Ibrahim, of the Social Development and Policy program, had this to say:
Mohammad Hanif’s approach to pedagogy was very hands-on. We not only read different styles of journalistic writings but also were required to produce various articles as well. We wrote character sketches, memoirs, and descriptive narrations of an instance, et cetera. He walked us through the whole process conceiving and writing a journalistic story, which really helped us understand and grasp the fundamentals of journalism.
“The thing I liked about Mohammad Hanif’s teaching style was that, he never teaches you anything in a way which would impose on you that you should write his way, rather he always tries to dig out that spark of writing in a student and further work on polishing that way of writing”, said Wahid Khan of the Social Development and Policy program.