Professor Mahmood’s work focuses on the relationship between religious and secular politics in postcolonial societies with special attention to issues of sovereignty, subject formation, law, and gender/sexuality. Her work is best known for its interrogation of liberal assumptions about the proper boundary between ethics and politics, freedom and unfreedom, the religious and the secular, and agency and submission. Currently she is working on questions of political violence and survival, with a focus on Sunni-Shia relations in South Asia and the Middle East.
Professor Mahmood has been a recipeint of numerous fellowships, including from the American Academy in Berlin, Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion and International Affairs, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, American Council of Learned Societies (Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship), and the Carnegie Scholars’ program. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala in Sweden in 2013.