Select Workshops

I have amassed three decades of experience designing and teaching workshops at all levels including secondary public schools, colleges and universities, and community. My specialty is identifying urgent issues and integrating them into the needs of the community that invites me.

To read about my teaching background and history, please visit my Courses & Workshops page.

Ongoing: Creative Writing workshops through UCLA Extension’s Writers Program; since summer 2019.

Ongoing: Student leadership workshops as well as Civil Liberties curriculum design through Pasadena Educational Foundation and Pasadena Unified School District.

Online reading with Devi Laskar; hosted by Torsa Ghosal, Festival of the Arts, 
Cal State University-Sacramento, CA; Apr 2021

Visiting Writer, Creveling Lounge, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA; Mar 2020

Women Writers Unite! Women’s Resource Center, California State University-San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA; Nov 2019

Black Wings reading and discussion with Parama Roy, Middle East/South Asia Studies Program, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA; Oct 2019

Black Wings reading and On Belonging site-specific art installation, Humanities Institute, Scripps College, Claremont, CA. Listen here; Sep 2019

Reading and led discussion on Borderlines: Telling South Asian and US-Mexico Border Histories through Art and Performance, University of California-San Diego and Committee for the Arts of the Subcontinent, San Diego, CA; Mar 2018

Participated in special event,Sehba Sarwar – A Reading, presented by Gallery Magazine, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Festiba 2018, Edinburg, TX; Feb 2018

Participated as honoree in a celebration of Voices Breaking Boundaries’ Special Collections Archives Celebration at the University of Houston, Rockwell Pavilion, Houston, TX; Nov 2016

Panelist: Participated in  “Globalization, Borders, and the Rights and Status of Children,” a panel discussion at Global Studies Conference 2016 Crossing Borders: People, Capital, Culture conference, University of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX; Jun 2016

Reading and Borderlines book launch, South Asia Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; Mar 2016

Sehba Sarwar University Panel Discussion UT Austin
Sehba Sarwar with co-panelists Harbeer Sandhu and Shreerekha Subramanian at UT-Austin; photo by Liliana Valenzuela

The University of Texas at Austin’s South Asia Institute invited me to set up a panel to introduce the release of Voices Breaking Boundaries’ Borderlines Volume Two. The panel discussion included readings and a panel discussion with contributors Harbeer Sandhu, Shreerekha Subramanian and myself.


Featured writer, Rites of Spring Literary Festival, Rio Hondo College, Whittier, California; April 2019.

Reading at LA Queer and Women of Color Writers Series, California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Oct 2018.

Delivered talk, Sharing Stories to Collapse Walls and Build Bridges,  California Lutheran University’s English graduation gathering, Thousand Oaks, CA; May 2018.

Participation in a panel “Local Representations, Global Conversations: Surviving Violence and Resisting Ideologies of Violence” at a connecting South Asia to Houston conference, Conversations and Connections Around Gender-Based Violence, University of Houston, TX; Feb 2014.

As part of a day-long conference about issues in South Asia, I presented work that I created for Voices Breaking Boundaries’ Women Under Siege production.

If you’d like me to offer a workshop in your community or offer a talk on your campus, please contact me.

Panelist: Participated in Mitchell Center for the Arts’ CounterCurrent Festival discussion, Home Improvement Public-Private-Participatory-Park: Recreational Resistance, University of Houston, Houston, TX; Apr 2016

Reading and conversation with Dr. Subramanian Shankar, artist Ayanna McCloud at the University of Houston-Downtown’s Center for Critical Race Studies (CCRS), Houston, TX; Feb 2016

Gave talk What Is Home? Dialogue on Crossing Borders, Practicing Love at University of Houston-Clear Lake, TX; Mar 2015

Gave talk at Portland State University Art and Social Practice MFA Program’s Wednesday Afternoon Conversation Series, Portland, OR. Listen here; Feb 2013

Reading for the Eastern Mennonite University’s Language & Literature Department’s Writers’ Read Series, Harrisonburg, VA; Oct 2011

Video screenings and participation in panel discussion Women Speak on Global Citizenry at Bronx Community College, New York, NY; Mar 2011

Presented on “Africans In Asia” at The George Washington University, Africana Studies Program, Washington DC; Apr 2008

I presented the findings of research that I was doing about the African diaspora living in Karachi’s Mangopir area. Over the years, my research expanded into a Voices Breaking Boundaries’ project Homes and Histories, which I presented to a larger community in 2012 as a multidisciplinary arts production.

Reading at Callaloo conference Callaloo Salutes Texas Writers, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX; Mar 2009

International Women’s Day Creative Writing Workshop and Reading at El Paso Community College, Valle Verde Campus, El Paso, TX; Mar 2010

On my second visit to El Paso Community College, I shared a video collage about gun violence and also read from my short story “Soot” that appeared in And the World Changed, an anthology that contains writings by 25 Pakistani women writers.

“Publishing Your Work” at University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX; Mar 2008

Served on panel “Beyond Extremes: Contesting Cultural Stereotypes” in a panel entitled “Contested Spaces, Competing Narratives in Pakistan: A Gendered View” at South Asia Conference, The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; Oct 2007

Panelist “Contested Spaces, Competing Narratives: Towards Human Rights and Democracy in Pakistan“, Tufts & Harvard Universities, Boston, MA; April 2007

Reading for the Duke University’s Women’s Center, Durham, NC; Oct 2008

A young woman, who had attended Making Noise (a high school girls workshop that I’d offered in Houston), was enrolled at Duke University, and she invited me to visit her campus to offer an empowerment workshop for her follow women students.

Gave reading and talk at Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, Rawalpindi and Government College University, Lahore, Pakistan; Jan 2009

“Pakistan Today: Life after Benazir Bhutto: Houston Pakistani women speak out,” hosted by Friends of UH Women’s Studies’ Living Archives Series, Houston, TX; Mar 2008

Featured artist at Howls in the Desert: A Reading by Mujeres Escritoras in Honor of Women’s History Month at El Paso Community College’s Spring 2007 Arts Festival, El Paso, TX; Mar 2007

Reading and panel at “South Asian Writers Speak: Women, War and Trauma” hosted by South Asia Institute and Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Texas Austin, Austin, TX; Mar 2006

I participated in a panel discussion with writers Sorayya Khan, Waqas Khwaja, Mahmud Rahman and Alka Roy, where we talked about how issues of war connect to our writing; our South Asia Institute panel was an extension of our panel’s talk at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) that was also being held in Austin at the time.

Reading at University of Texas, Austin, TX; Nov 2007

I offered a talk and reading for students who were studying Pakistani writers that generate work in English.

Served as Co-Director for School Writing Project and offered Teacher Writing Workshops, Center for Education, Rice University, Houston, TX; Led many workshops series that served over 80 teachers around Houston, Houston, TX; 1997–2001


I am an author and speaker, an artist, and a community and cultural activist.

If I can use my talents and passions to inspire you or your network to push boundaries and become involved in our communities, please connect with me. I offer a range of services including: readings, workshops, courses, or multidisciplinary performances/installations. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sehba Sarwar Art Car
Front hood of my art car, Digital Meets Pakistani Truck Art, featuring stickers of buraq images from Karachi; photo by Burnell McCray