Ayyaz is a PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. His previous research has dealt with the the articulation of class in workplace and residential area politics in Karachi (Pakistan), and particularly the imbrications of class with ethnicity, informality and the politics of clientelism. For his PhD, Ayyaz is aiming to do a genealogy of working class formation in Karachi over the past three decades of neoliberal reforms and globalisation. The research draws upon perspectives from urban geography, development studies, sociology and critical political economy. He is currently in the process of completing comprehensives in the areas of "State-civil society in the global South", "Theories of class and class formation", and "Labour movements and urban space".
Ayyaz is a recipient of the Elia Scholarship, York University's most prestigious graduate award and awarded to three incoming doctoral students each year. In 2015, he was also awarded the Jack Layton Prize for Environmental Research and Action which is given to one graduating Master in Environmental Studies (MES) student every year whose MES program demonstrates both academic excellence and a potential to influence positive environmental change.
Keywords: Urban geography; sociology; development; Marxism; class; informality; labour; Pakistan