Sanaa Riaz, PhD
College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Sanaa Riaz teaches in the Anthropology program and serves as the Chair of Ashford University’s Applied Linguistics program. She graduated from the University of Karachi, Pakistan with Bachelor’s in History and a Master’s in Archeology and earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas. Learning and teaching languages being her passion besides Anthropology, she also began pursuing a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Prior to joining Ashford University’s Denver campus, Dr. Riaz taught at the Mount St. Mary College, New York; Arkansas State University; University of Arkansas; and at undergraduate institutions in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Riaz’s research revolves around issues of modernity, tradition, secularism, and social class in religious practice and the education context. She was trained as a Middle East anthropologist and conducted ethnographic research in urban Pakistan. In her Anthropology classes, Dr. Riaz’s mission is to encourage students to critically examine their worldviews and socio-economic and political ethos, and bring themselves one step closer to understanding other cultural normalities. Thus, respecting other points of view and challenging one’s own through academic dialogue is an important feature of her class environment. Dr. Riaz advises her students to read about other cultures as much as possible and to deconstruct the ideologies that drive every activity in their daily lives and of the people around them, whether it’s watching a movie, celebrating an occasion, going shopping, or communicating.