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Weaponizing Martyrdom: The Afghan Tragedy in 5 Acts

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Senate House

Room: S312

London

WC1E

United Kingdom

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EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO FORESEEABLE STRIKE ACTION. WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE CAUSED.


The war in Afghanistan has gone through many phases since its beginning forty years ago. The weapons of war have changed, and so too have the protagonists and the institutions and causes they represent. The one constant has been violence. The question posed in this talk is how the the conflict’s various protagonists have transformed violence into different forms of sacrifice and how the attribution of sacrificial meaning to violence has altered the nature of the war, the way in which it is understood, and the options for how it might be resolved.

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David Edwards has been conducting research on and writing about Afghanistan, South Asia and Islam for more than thirty years. A graduate of Princeton University (BA, 1975) and the University of Michigan (PhD, 1986), he is the author of three books published by the University of California Press – Caravan of Martyrs: Sacrifice and Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan (2017), Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad (2002), and Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier (1996) - along with numerous articles on Afghan history, religion and culture. Edwards is also the co-director and producer of the film, Kabul Transit (2006), which has been an official selection at many film festivals, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam, and the Independents Night film series at Lincoln Center in New York City. Edwards has received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. In 2002, Edwards was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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Senate House

Room: S312

London

WC1E

United Kingdom

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