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Speaker: Dr Maria Rashid, post-doctoral scholar at the UCL Social Research Institute at University College London
Discussant: Dr Amanda Chisholm, Senior Lecturer in Security Studies / Researcher in Gender and Security
Militarism penetrates social structures, relations, and practices including popular culture, modes of economic production, and hierarchies of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Maria Rashid’s book Dying to Serve, Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army, traces this process of infection outward by affixing its gaze on to the military as an institution, the affective bonds it cultivates with soldiers and their families, and the function of these relationships in fashioning the appeal and presence of militarism in modern society. Saturated with tropes of honour, nation and gender, military deaths are political instances that attach meaning to private grief to produce a public politics of service and sacrifice for the nation-state.
The Pakistan Military invested heavily in crafted rituals for mourning dead soldiers as soldier casualties and the clamour against ‘America’s war’ mounted during the military operations in the ‘War on Terror.’ Through an ethnographic exploration of soldier death in military commemorative ceremonies and its reception in ‘martial’ villages in Punjab, this talk will explore the gap between everyday experiences of families that mourn their dead in rural Pakistan and the idealized image of the martyr that saturates national representations. Positioning dead body politics and ritualistic mourning as technologies of rule, through a focus on subjectivity, intimacy and affect, the talk will explicate the persuasive powers through which hegemonic institutions seek to produce consensus and ideological conformity.
About the speaker
Dr Maria Rashid completed her doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies in Politics and International Studies in 2018.
Her book Dying to Serve, Militarism, Affect and the Politics of Sacrifice was published in 2020 by Stanford University Press and has been awarded the Bernard S. Cohn 2022 prize and was shortlisted for the IPS- International Political Sociology Book Award, 2021 and the British South Asian Studies 2022 book prize.
Maria is also a psychologist by training and has worked with various national and international non-governmental organizations in Pakistan for overtwenty years. She is currently a post-doctoral scholar at the UCL Social Research Institute at University College London, UK and is involved in training and research around violence, gender and militarism.
This event is part of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies (FTGS) Global Voices Seminar Series.
At this event
Senior Lecturer in Security Studies / Researcher in Gender and Security