Current Institutional Affiliation
Chair and Professor, Anthropology, Claremont Colleges / Scripps College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1999
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Emory University
An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety Among Islamist Shi'I Muslims in Beirut

This project investigates intra-sectarian variation in the Lebanese Shi'a community by comparing Islamist, nationalist, and secular Shi'a in Beirut. The specific objectives of this project are: 1) to compare how negotiations of sectarianism as an institutionalized category of social difference in Lebanon affect definitions of community, 2) to compare how these understandings of Shi'a community relate to social agendas and actions, especially with regards to the social reconstruction of Lebanon, and 3) to compare the influence of practices concerning gender, particularly the role and comportment of women in public spaces, on the definition of boundaries between groups. To explore these issues, I will conduct 12 months of field research in Beirut. This project will contribute to ethnography on Lebanon, theoretical understandings of community coherence and divisions, and the relationships between community and structural inequality, as well as discussions of the current political climate in the Middle East.