B.A., New College, FL, 1977
M.A., Tulane University, 1981
Ph.D., ibid., 1986
Anthropology of war and peace, engaged anthropology, human rights, religion and conflict, writing in ethnography, theory; South Asia.
Fascinated by religious motivations for militancy, Mahmood specializes in the anthropology of violence, war and peace, terrorism, guerilla warfare, and language and culture. Her signature area of expertise has been upheaval among India’s Sikhs. In 1992 she traveled to India where the Sikh unrest in Punjab had reached the level of civil war and Hindus and Muslims were fighting over the holy site of Ayodhya. Her research resulted in the book “Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants,” and she became interested in the untold story of oppression and resistance behind the sensationalist headlines emphasizing “terrorism” and “fanaticism.” After a decade studying the international Sikh community, Mahmood is an expert on the movement for statehood (Khalistan movement), human rights in Punjab and Sikh religious issues. Her research also has expanded to the conflict in Kashmir, including wider interests in the Islamic world since Sept. 11, 2001.