Saba Mahmood is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley. She is the author of Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject that received the 2005 Victoria Schuck award from the American Association of Political Science. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals including Cultural Anthropology, Boston Review, Social Research, American Ethnologist, Public Culture, and Cultural Studies. Mahmood is the recipient of the Carnegie Corporation Scholar’s award (2007), and the Frederick Burkhardt fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (2009-10). Her current project focuses on politics of religious freedom in the Middle East.

She will give a lecture at Utrecht University

Moral Injury and Secular Law: The Danish Cartoon Controversy and the Question of Muslim Minority in Europe
Date: 26 May 2009
Location: Drift 13, room 0.04, Utrecht
Time: 14:00 – 17:00


This paper challenges the consensus that the Danish cartoon controversy is best understood as a clash between the values of free speech and blasphemy. Instead, Mahmood unpacks the evaluative framework on which this consensus rests, challenging her audience to re-think normative conceptions of religion, law, and language that frame their reception of the cartoons. Her analysis has implications for how Muslim and non-Muslim Europeans want to think about their collective future in European societies.

This lecture is jointly organized with the Graduate Gender Programme Utrecht University and the working group Theory, Culture and Religion at the Faculty of Social Sciences (KULeuven).


Attendance is free but registration is needed. See HERE.