Mandana E. Limbert received her PhD in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002 and joined the Queens College (CUNY) faculty the same year. She became a member of the faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center in 2007. She has also been a fellow and visiting scholar at The University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender (1999-2000), New York University’s Center for Near Eastern Studies (2000-2001), the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2001-2002), and Duke University’s Department of Cultural Anthropology (2008-2010). She joined the History department at North Carolina State University (2009-2010).
In addition to numerous articles, Professor Limbert has co-edited “Timely Assets: The Politics of Resources and their Temporalities” (2008), published by the School of American Research, Advanced Seminar Series. Her book, “In the Time of Oil: Piety, Memory, and Social Life in an Omani Town” was published by Stanford University Press (2010). And, with support from the American Council of Learned Societies, Professor Limbert began writing her next book, “Oman, Zanzibar, and the Politics of Becoming Arab” on changing notions of Arabness in Oman and Zanzibar over the course of the twentieth century.
Anthropology 204: Anthropology of Islam
Since the Iranian revolution of 1979 and especially since September 2001, interest in Islamic history, law, practices and beliefs has increased enormously. Islam – in its various forms – has, however, influenced the philosophical, legal, artistic, political and literary lives of people throughout the world for centuries. This course aims at introducing students to Islamic practices and the diversity of Islamic traditions as well as to how anthropologists have engaged with these practices and traditions, in their local variations, transnational connections, and global representations. After preliminary discussions of the early history of Islam and the fundamentals of practice and belief, the course will explore such topics as: mysticism and “local Islams,” early and late twentieth century debates about “modernity,” notions of gendered piety and the body, banking and finance, as well as legal practices, media technologies and Islam in Europe and the United States. The course is open to students both familiar and unfamiliar with Islam.
Anthropology 212: Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East
Touched off by a street vendor’s act of self-emulation in Tunisia, popular anti-government protests spread throughout the Middle East this last year. To the surprise of almost everyone, long-established and powerful rulers stepped down after decades in power. While in some countries, such as Tunisia and Egypt, new governments are now being established, fighting has spread or continued in others such as Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain. The goal of this class is to learn about the diverse histories, beliefs, and practices in the Middle East and to understand better the events of the last year. We will investigate the modern history of the region, the people who inhabit this vast geographical area, and the cultural and political changes that have emerged in the wake of social, political and economic processes from the colonial period to the present. Pervious knowledge of Middle Eastern history, geography or anthropology is not required. Please be prepared; there is quite a lot of reading and writing in this class!