Friday, 28. April 2023, 20:30-22:30
Organized as part of the Symposium “Anthropology in Arab Countries”, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation
Across academia in the Arab region, there is a resurgence of interest in anthropology as a discipline and ethnography as method. How are we to understand this interest and what kinds of advancements might it promise for university disciplines on the one hand and for social research on the other? This question takes on additional complexity given the political and social upheavals that the region is experiencing. The long-term promise of a new or renewed engagement with anthropology should be evaluated through its capacity to reflect and interpret the dismemberment of states and societies and its ability to apprehend visions of alternative futures.
Seteney Shami is founding Director-General of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences since 2012. She is an anthropologist from Jordan and obtained her BA from the American University of Beirut and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. After establishing the first graduate department of anthropology at Yarmouk University, Jordan, she moved in 1996 to the regional office of the Population Council in Cairo as director of the Middle East Awards in Population and the Social Sciences (MEAwards). In July 1999, she joined the Social Science Research Council in New York as program director for the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia (until 2010) and InterAsia. She has been a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley, Georgetown University, University of Chicago, Stockholm University, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (Uppsala). Her fieldwork has focused on Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and the North Caucasus. Her research interests center on issues of ethnicity and nationalism in the context of globalization, urban politics and state-building strategies, and population displacement and transnational mobility. Publications include the co-authored book (with Mitchell Stevens and Cynthia Miller-Idriss Seeing the World: How U.S. Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era (Princeton University Press 2018) and the edited volumes Middle East Studies for the New Millennium: Infrastructures of Knowledge (co-edited with Cynthia Miller-Idriss, NYU Press 2016); Publics, Politics and Participation: Locating the Public Sphere in the Middle East and North Africa (SSRC Books, 2009), among others.
For information on the Symposium, please contact: Anthropology@dont-want-spam.orient-institut.org