Samma Ishaq

History of Female Subjectivity in Kashmir: From 1947-Present

My particular interest for this summer is to explore whether the ongoing violence in Kashmir have inspired women to lead movements or organize petitions against the government in the last decade. I wish to study specific examples of resistance that have been attempted in the past, and to analyze the types of initiatives organized particularly by females, who seldom receive any acknowledgement for their efforts. Women in Kashmir are generally written into history as submissive and marginalized figures, who due to their social suffering, cannot bring themselves to oppose either patriarchal attitudes or domestic abuse. I intend to analyze to what extent women internalize instances of rape, fear, displacement, and the loss of their husbands or children. I hope that this analysis will provide me with a strong background to understand when, if, and how women release their anger, and whether this is ever done through the medium of resistance, discourse, or civil participation.

Message to Sponsor

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to engage in research in Kashmir for my History 101 thesis. However, working in such a precarious environment can be daunting and overwhelming. I hope that the background research I have conducted for this project will allow me to successfully conduct interviews with the local population. My main obstacle in these interviews will be to ensure my subjects that I mean well and have their interests at heart. Several foreign academics visit Kashmir to simply corroborate previously held theories. I hope to keep an open mind and allow my experience to mold my analysis as well as my personal views towards the Kashmir conflict.
  • Major: History
  • Mentor: Eugene Irschick, History