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Martyrdom, Sacrifice, and Affect in Pakistan — Dr Maria Rashid
Episode 229th July 2021 • Religion and Global Challenges • Cambridge Interfaith Programme
00:00:00 00:41:58

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The second episode of our series on the politics of martyrdom hosts Dr Maria Rashid, author of Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect, and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army (Stanford UP, 2020). Together we discuss the role that affects and emotions play in making martyrdom a key theme for Pakistani militarism, the way in which gender impacts ideas about sacrifice, and how religion and nationalism intersect in the construction of martyrdom.

Music: Sunday Lights by Blue Dot Sessions; Entonces by A. A. Aalto


Dr. Maria Rashid has been working in the human rights and development sector for over 22 years now. A psychologist by training, she has been associated with various non-governmental groups in Pakistan including heading a national women and child rights organization for 14 years.  She acquired her doctorate in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2018. Her book, Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect and the Politics of Sacrifice in the Pakistan Army was published in 2020 by Stanford University Press and received an honourable mention for the IPS-International Political Sociology Book Award, 2021. She continues to be involved in trainings and research on violence against women, gender, masculinities and militarism and serves on the board of a number of groups and collaboratives both nationally and in South Asia. 

Further readings

  • Acton, C. (2007). Grief in War time: Private Pain, Public Discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Holst-Warhaft, G. (2000). The Cue for Passion: Grief and Its Political Uses. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Goldstein, J. (2003). War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Navaro-Yashin, Y.  (2012). The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geographies in a Postwar Polity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Verdery, Katherine (1999). The Political Lives of Dead Bodies: Reburial and Post Socialist Change. New York: Columbia University Press.