Ayyaz is a doctoral 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. He is based in Karachi for the academic year 2017-8 to conduct fieldwork for his dissertation research titled "The (un)Making of the Working Class in Karachi, 1980s to 2010s." The fieldwork includes archival work with trade unions and labour wings of mainstream parties, along with interviews of party workers, labourers and labour organisers. The research draws upon perspectives from urban geography, development studies, sociology and critical political economy. In preparation for the dissertation work, Ayyaz has completed detailed comprehensive papers in the areas of "State-civil society in the global South," "Theories of class and class formation" and "Urban space and politics in the global South."
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. He has written for major newspapers in Pakistan and was recently invited as a political analyst on one of Pakistan's biggest news channels.
Keywords: Urban geography; sociology; development; Marxism; class; informality; labour; global South; Pakistan