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Assistant Professor of Anthropology



Office: Anthropology Department

I examine the environment as a political imaginary of war and economy in the Middle East. My book Ecologies of Occupation: Restoring the Marshes in Wartime Iraq analyzes how the Iraqi exile project to restore the country’s southern marshes, drained by Saddam Hussein, intersect with US and UN occupation strategies for transforming Iraq’s national economy. In the manuscript, I argue that biodiversity conservation scientists—by counting birds in the marshes and analyzing remote sensing satellite diagnostics—introduced new forms of valuation for land and atmosphere that brought Iraqi terrain into the ecosystem of late liberal capitalism. My second project focuses on pan-Arab bird markets as a means by which to investigate transnational economies foundational to suq cities of the region that pre-date environmentalism and animate transnational connections that unify the cosmography, Bilad al-Sham (greater Syria including Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan), in ways that defy nation-state boundaries imposed after WWI.  I earned my Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.