skip to content

Cambridge Interfaith Programme

 

When political power is asserted or contested, the dead and their afterlives regularly make an appearance. Promises of martyrdom have fuelled suicide attacks around the globe, including in Europe. Celebrated martyrs have the capacity to mobilise communities and inspire upheaval. Yet we know too little about the appeal, mechanisms and effects of political martyrdom, whether religious or secular. To address this lacuna, this project investigates the role that martyrdom plays in the ongoing Kurdish conflict. Through ethnographic research, it explores how dead bodies are transformed into politically potent martyr figures through a variety of narrative, visual, digital and material means. In this way, the project seeks to conceptualise afterlives as central sites for the constitution, performance and contestation of political power and community. 

This project was funded by a British Academy Newton International Fellowship. 

Principal Investigator

Dr Marlene Schäfers

Publications

An initial publication from the project is a peer-reviewed thematic thread on Afterlives on the online publication platform Allegra Lab (published in May 2020), curated and with an introduction by Dr Marlene Schäfers. 

Latest news

Conference report | Being with Water Otherwise

14 May 2024

The conference Being with Water OTHERWISE (April 15-16, 2024) brought together scholars, practitioners, and activists from diverse backgrounds to explore the intricate...

Call for papers: Seeing Muslimness

28 March 2024

An interdisciplinary conference for scholars, researchers, and practitioners, co-convened by Madiha Noman—a PhD student in the Faculty of English and affiliate of the Cambridge Interfaith Research Forum—and Abdul Sabur Kidwai of King’s College London. Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2024.