Cynthia Mahmood visited campus March 10-13 as the Frank Moore Visiting Anthropologist-in-Residence. The scholar, author and former Central College professor detailed her research, which has focused on religious motivations for militancy and the anthropology of violence, war and peace, terrorism, guerilla warfare and language and culture.
Mahmood, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, attended a number of classes, including Jeff Bass’ Anthropology of Human Rights. He says students found her visit “inspirational.” Bass says students expressed awe at Mahmood’s bravery after her experiences with armed Islamic militants in Kashmir. In addition to visiting classes, Mahmood met with students and faculty and presented a lecture, “Religion and Conflict Resolution: Taking the Risk of the Face-to-Face.”
An expert on India, she has conducted decades of research on the international Sikh community, including the movement for statehood, human rights in Punjab and Sikh religious issues. Mahmood has published a number of works, including the ethnography “Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants.”
Mahmood is a fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a fellow of Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies at the University of Notre Dame.