Anthropology Department

Paul SilversteinPaul A. Silverstein

Professor of Anthropology



Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Chicago, 1998
M.A., Anthropology, University of Chicago, 1994
A.B., Anthropology, Princeton University, 1992

Research and Teaching Interests

Immigration, race/ethnicity, nationalism, colonialism/post-coloniality, cultural politics, sport, urban anthropology, historical anthropology, practice theories, Marxian and post-Marxian theory, Islam, Berber activism, France, North Africa, Middle East.

Selected Publications


  • Algeria in France: Transpolitics, Race, and Nation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004
  • Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa. Edited with Ussama Makdisi. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006
  • Bourdieu in the Field: Colonial Politics, Ethnographic Practices, Theoretical Developments. Edited with Jane Goodman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.

Journal Articles

  • Sporting Faith: Islam, Soccer, and the French Nation-State. Social Text. 65/18 (4): 25-53, 2000.
  • An Excess of Truth: Violence, Conspiracy Theory, and the Algerian Civil War. Anthropological Quarterly. 75 (4): 641-672, 2002.
  • France's Mare Nostrum: Colonial and Postcolonial Constructions of the French Mediterranean. Journal of North African Studies. 7 (4): 1-22, 2002.
  • Martyrs and Patriots: Ethnic, National, and Transnational Dimensions of Kabyle Politics. Journal of North African Studies. 8 (1): 87-111, 2003.
  • On Rooting and Uprooting: Kabyle Habitus, Domesticity, and Structural Nostalgia. Ethnography. 5 (4): 553-578, 2004.
  • The New Barbarians: Piracy and Terrorism on the North African Frontier. CR: The New Centennial Review. 5 (1): 179-212, 2005.
  • Immigrant Racialization and the New Savage Slot: Race, Migration, and Immigration in the New Europe. Annual Review of Anthropology. 34: 363-384, 2005.
  • The Context of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in France. Patterns of Prejudice. 42 (1): 1-26, 2008.
  • The Cultivation of "Culture" in the Moroccan Amazigh Movement. Review of Middle Eastern Studies. 43 (2): 168-177, 2010.
  • Masquerade Politics: Race, Islam, and the Scales of Amazigh Activism in Southeastern Morocco. Nations and Nationalism. 17 (1): 65-84, 2011.
  • A New Morocco? Amazigh Activism, Political Pluralism, and Anti-Anti-Semitism in the Wake of Tahrir. Brown Journal of World Affairs. 18 (2): 129-140, 2012.
  • In the Name of Culture: Berber Activism and the Material Politics of "Popular Islam" in Southeastern Morocco. Material Religion 8 (3): 330-353, 2012.
  • The Pitfalls of Transnational Consciousness: Amazigh Activism as a Scalar Dilemma. Journal of North African Studies 18(5): 768-778, 2013.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

  • The Kabyle Myth: The Production of Ethnicity in Colonial Algeria. In From the Margins: Historical Anthropology and Its Futures. Ed. Brian Keith Axel. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 122-155, 2002.
  • Stadium Politics: Sport, Islam, and Amazigh Consciousness in France and North Africa. In With God on their Side: Sport in the Service of Religion. Ed. Tara Magdalinski and Timothy Chandler. London: Routledge, pp. 37-70, 2002.
  • Why Are We Waiting to Start the Fire?': French Gangsta Rap and the Critique of State Capitalism. In Black, Blanc, Beur: Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture in the Francophone World. Ed. Alain-Philippe Durand. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, pp. 45-67, 2002.
  • Guerilla Capitalism and Ghettocentric Cosmopolitanism in the French Urban Periphery. In Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy. Ed. Melissa Fisher and Gregory Downey. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 282-304, 2006.
  • The Maghrib Abroad: Immigrant Transpolitics and Cultural Involution in France. In The Maghrib in the New Century: Identity, Religion, and Politics. Ed. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman and Daniel Zissenwine. Ganesville: University of Florida Press, pp. 235-264, 2007.
  • Thin Lines on the Pavement: The Racialization and Spatialization of Violence in Postcolonial (Sub)Urban France. In Gendering Urban Space in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Ed. Kamran Ali and Martina Rieker. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, pp. 169-205, 2008.
  • Kabyle Immigrant Politics and Racialized Citizenship in France. In Citizenship, Political Engagement, and Belonging: Immigrants in Europe and the United States. Ed. Deborah Reed-Danahay and Caroline B. Brettell. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, pp. 23-42, 2008.
  • The Local Dimensions of Transnational Berberism: Racial Politics, Land Rights, and Cultural Activism in Southeastern Morocco. Berbers and Others: Shifting Parameters of Ethnicity in the Contemporary Maghrib. Ed. Katherine Hoffman and Susan Gilson Miller. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 83-102, 2010.
  • The Fantasy and Violence of Religious Imagination: Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in France and North Africa. In Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend. Ed. Andrew Shryock. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp 141-171, 2010.
  • Le Patrimoine du ghetto: Rap et racialisation des violences urbains en France. In L'Atlantique Multiracial. Ed. James Cohen, Andrew Diamond, and Philippe Vervaecke. Paris: Karthala, pp. 95-118, 2012.
  • The Pragmatics and Politics of Anthropological Collaboration on the North African Frontier. In Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa: Into the New Millennium. Ed. Sherine Hafez and Susan Slyomovics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 63-78, 2013.
  • The Anthropologist and the Activist. In Encountering Morocco: Fieldwork and Cultural Understanding. Ed. David Crawford and Rachel Newcomb. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 116-130, 2013.

Short Articles, Reviews, etc.

  • Realizing Myth: The Berber Movement in Algeria and France. Middle East Report 200/26 (3): 11-15, 1996.
  • Rebels and Martyrs: Kabyle Mobilization and the Assassination of Lounès Matoub. Middle East Report. 208/28 (3): 3-4, 1998.
  • Regimes of (Un)Truth: Conspiracy Theory and the Transnationalization of the Algerian Civil War. Middle East Report. 214/30 (1): 6-10, 2000.
  • 'No Pardon': Rage and Revolt in Kabylia. Middle East Insight. 16 (4): 61-65, 2001.
  • Headscarves and the French Tricolor. Middle East Report Online. <>. January 29, 2004.
  • Amazigh Activism and the Moroccan State. Middle East Report. 233/34 (4): 44-48 (with David Crawford), 2004.
  • Watching Soap Operas and Making Chips: Silicon Valley Exposed. Review Essay of Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley, Chris Benner (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2002); Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age, Mary Chayko (Albany: SUNY Press, 2002); and The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Justice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy, David Pellow and Lisa Sun-Hee Park (New York: NYU Press. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 28 (2): 477-481, 2004.
  • States of Fragmentation in North Africa. Middle East Report. 237/35 (4): 26-33, 2005.
  • Review of Generous Betrayal: Cultural Pluralism in the New Europe, Uni Wikan (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002). American Ethnologist. 32 (1), 2005.
  • Review of Affirmative Exclusion: Cultural Pluralism and the Rule of Custom in France, Jean-Loup Amselle (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003). American Anthropologist. 107 (3): 509-510, 2005.
  • Postcolonial Urban Apartheid. Items and Issues. 5 (4): 8-15, 2006.
  • Review of Bringing the Empire Back Home: France in the Global Age, Herman Lebovics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004). American Ethnologist. 33 (4), 2006.
  • Review of Policing Paris: The Origins of Modern Immigration Control Between the Wars, Clifford Rosenberg (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006). American Journal of Sociology. 113 (6): 1787-1790, 2008.
  • The Veil Controversy in France. Review Essay of The Politics of the Veil, Joan Scott (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006) and Why the French Don't Like Headscarves, John R. Bowen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007). Middle East Studies Bulletin. 42 (1-2): 120-122, 2009.
  • Review of Berber Culture on the World Stage: From Village to Video, Jane E. Goodman (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005). International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 41 (1): 164-166, 2009.
  • The Tragedy and Farce of French Football Politics. Periscope Web Forum on the World Cup. Social Text. <>, 2010.
  • Review of Village Matters: Knowledge, Politics, and Community in Kabylia, Algeria, Judith Scheele (Oxford: James Currey, 2009). Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.). 16: 429-430. 2010.
  • Review of Ethnicity, Inc., John L. and Jean Comaroff (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009). Journal of Consumer Culture. 11 (1): 127-129.
  • Weighing Morocco's New Constitution. Middle East Report Online. <>, July 5, 2011.
  • Review of Women of Fes: Ambiguities of Urban Life in Morocco, Rachel Newcomb (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). American Anthropologist. 113 (3): 524-525, 2011.
  • Review of The Harkis: The Wound that Never Heals, Vincent Crapanzano (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011). Anthropological Quarterly. 84 (4): 1035-1038.
  • Review of Violent Modernity: France in Algeria, Abdelmajid Hannoum (Cambridge: Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 2010). International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 44 (1): 199-201, 2012.
  • Review of We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco, Katherine E. Hoffman (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008). Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 22 (1): 120-121, 2012.
  • Review of Collective Terms: Race, Culture and Community in a State-Planned City in France, Beth S. Epstein (New York: Berghahn Books, 2011). French Politics, Culture and Society 31 (1): 144-146, 2013.
  • Review of Norbert Elias and Modern Sociology: Knowledge, Interdependence, Power, Process, Eric Dunning and Jason Hughes (London: Bloomsbury, 2013). H-France Review 13 (November, no. 184): 1-6., 2013.
  • Review of Empire's Children: Race, Filiation, and Citizenship in the French Colonies. Emmanuelle Saada (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). French History 28(1): 127-129, 2013.
  • Review of Le Proche et le lointain: Une siècle d'anthropologie au Maroc. Hassan Rachik (Marseille: Editions Parenthèses/MMSH). Journal of North African Studies., 2014.
  • The Response to the Dieudonné Affair in France Risks Demonising French Minority Groups in the Name of Tolerance. EUROPP: European Politics and Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, 27 February., 2014.


Anth 211: Introduction to Anthropology - Syllabus PDF
Anth 355: Anthropology of Colonialism - Syllabus PDF
Anth 361: The Middle East: Culture and Politics - Syllabus PDF
Anth 380: Anthropology of Class - Syllabus PDF
Anth 461: Theories of Practice
LBST 556: Race and the Immigrant Experience