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


•  Postcolonial France: Race, Islam, and the Future of the Republic. London: Pluto Press, 2018.
•  Algeria in France:  Transpolitics, Race, and Nation.  Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 2004.

Edited Works:

• Uprooting: The Crisis of Traditional Agriculture in Algeria, Pierre Bourdieu and Abdelmalek Sayad. Translated by Susan Emmanuel. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2020.
• Bourdieu in Algeria: Colonial Politics, Ethnographic Practices, Theoretical Developments.  Edited with Jane Goodman.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.
• Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa.  Edited with Ussama Makdisi. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.

Special Journal Issue:

• The Mediterranean Redux: Ethnography, Theory, Politics. Edited with Naor Ben-Yehoyada. History and Anthropology 31(1) (2020).

Journal Articles (selected):

• Introduction: Remapping the Mediterranean. History and Anthropology 31 (1): 1-21 (2020) (with Naor Ben-Yehoyada and Heath Cabot). 
• Sport, Bodily Habitus and the Subject(s) of the Middle East. International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 51(2): 482-48 (2019).
• Minority Politics in the Mediterranean World. History and Anthropology 28(5): 653-662 (2017).
• Rethinking Colonialism and Decolonisation in Algeria, 60 Years Later.  On Bourdieu's  Algerian Sketches and Camus' Algerian Chronicles.  European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 2(2): 89-121 (2015).
• The Diaspora and the Cemetery: Emigration and Social Transformation in a Moroccan Oasis Community. Journal of North African Studies 20(1): 92-108 (2015).
• The Pitfalls of Transnational Consciousness: Amazigh Activism as a Scalar Dilemma. Journal of North African Studies 18(5): 768-778 (2013).
• In the Name of Culture: Berber Activism and the Material Politics of "Popular Islam" in Southeastern Morocco.  Material Religion 8(3): 330-353 (2012).
• 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).
• Masquerade Politics: Race, Islam, and the Scales of Amazigh Activism in Southeastern Morocco.  Nations and Nationalism 17(1): 65-84 (2011).
• Mi-Sauvage, Mi-Barbare: The Modern Politics of Berber Autochthony.  Etnofoor  22(2): 13-29 (2010).
• The Context of Antisemitism and Islamophobia in France.  Patterns of Prejudice. 42(1): 1-26 (2008).
• Immigrant Racialization and the New Savage Slot: Race, Migration, and Immigration in the New Europe.  Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 363-384 (2005).
• The New Barbarians:  Piracy and Terrorism on the North African Frontier.  CR: The New Centennial Review  5(1): 179-212 (2005).
• On Rooting and Uprooting:  Kabyle Habitus, Domesticity, and Structural Nostalgia.  Ethnography 5(4): 553-578 (2004).
• Martyrs and Patriots:  Ethnic, National, and Transnational Dimensions of Kabyle Politics.  Journal of North African Studies 8(1): 87-111 (2003).
• France's Mare Nostrum: Colonial and Postcolonial Constructions of the French Mediterranean.  Journal of North African Studies 7(4): 1-22 (2002).
• An Excess of Truth: Violence, Conspiracy Theory, and the Algerian Civil War.  Anthropological Quarterly 75(4): 641-672 (2002).
• Sporting Faith: Islam, Soccer, and the French Nation-State. Social Text 65: 25-53 (2000).

Book Chapters (selected):

• A De/Radicalised Future. In Radicalisation in Belgium and the Netherland: Narratives of Violence and Security. Ed. Nadia Fadil, Francesco Ragazzi, and Martijn de Koning. Pp. 283-288. London: I.B. Tauris, 2019.
• The Amazigh Movement in a Changing North Africa. In Social Currents in the Maghreb. Ed. Osama Abi-Mershed. Pp. 73-91. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
• Sounds of Love and Hate: Sufi Rap, Ghetto Patrimony, and the Concrete Politics of the French Urban Periphery. In Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam. Ed. Michael Frishkopf and Federico Spinetti. Pp. 255-280. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.
• Anthropologies of Middle Eastern Diasporas. In A Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle East. Ed. Soraya Altorki. Pp. 282-315. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, 2015.
• A Transnational Generation: Franco-Maghribi Youth Culture and Musical Politics in the Late Twentieth Century. In Transnational Histories of Youth in the Twentieth Century. Ed. Richard Ivan Jobs and David M. Pomfret. Pp. 283-305. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
• The Anthropologist and the Activist.  In Encountering Morocco: The Anthropological Experience of a Muslim Society.  Ed. David Crawford and Rachel Newcomb. Pp. 116-130. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.
• 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. Pp. 63-78. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.
• Le Patrimoine du ghetto: Rap et racialisation des violences urbains en France.  In L'Atlantique Multiracial.  Ed. James Cohen, Andrew Diamond, and Philippe Vervaecke. Pp. 95-118. Paris: Karthala, 2012.
• 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. Pp. 141-171. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
• 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. Pp. 83-102. Ed. Katherine Hoffman and Susan Gilson Miller.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
• Introduction: Bourdieu in Algeria.  In Bourdieu in Algeria: Colonial Politics, Ethnographic Practices, Theoretical Developments.  Ed. Jane Goodman and Paul Silverstein. Pp. 1-64. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009 (with Jane Goodman).
• 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. Pp. 23-42. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2008.
• 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. Pp. 169-205. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2008.
• 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. Pp. 235-264. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2007.
• 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. Pp. 282-304. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.
• Introduction: Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa. In Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa. Ed. Ussama Makdisi and Paul Silverstein. Pp. 1-24. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006 (with Ussama Makdisi).
• '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. Pp. 45-67. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 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. Pp. 37-70. London: Routledge, 2002.
• The Kabyle Myth: The Production of Ethnicity in Colonial Algeria.  In From the Margins: Historical Anthropology and Its Futures. Ed. Brian Keith Axel. Pp. 122-155. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. 

Short Articles, Reviews, etc. (selected):

• Essential Readings: North African France. Jadaliyya. October 24, 2018. 
• Morocco’s Palestine Politics. Middle East Report 282: 10-13 (2017) (with Zakia Salime).
• Review of Imaginative Geographies of Algerian Violence: Conflict Science, Conflict Management, Antipolitics, Jacob Mundy (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015). International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 48 (3): 594-596 (2016).    
• Éloge de la naïveté.  Middle East Report Online, March 30, 2016. <> 
• Review of Le Proche et le lointain: Une siècle d'anthropologie au Maroc. Hassan Rachik (Marseille: Editions Parenthèses/MMSH, 2013).  Journal of North African Studies 19(3): 440-443 (2014). 
• Review of Norbert Elias and Modern Sociology: Knowledge, Interdependence, Power, Process, Eric Dunning and Jason Hughes (London: Bloomsbury, 2013). H-France Review 13(November): 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 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).
• Weighing Morocco's New Constitution.  Middle East Report Online, July 5, 2011. <>
• Review of The Harkis: The Wound that Never Heals, Vincent Crapanzano (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).  Anthropological Quarterly 84(4): 1035-1038 (2011).
• Review of Le Meunier, les moines et le bandit. Des vies quotidiennes dans l'Aurès (Algérie) du xxe siècle, Fanny Colonna (Arles: Sindbad/Actes Sud, 2010) and Traces, désir de savoir et volonté d'être. L'Apres-colonie au Maghreb, eds. Fanny Colonna and Loïc Le Pape (Arles: Sindbad/Actes Sud, 2010).  Journal of North African Studies 16(3): 491-493 (2011).
• The Tragedy and Farce of French Football Politics.  Periscope Web Forum on the World Cup.  Social Text, July 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).
• 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 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).
• Entry on "Colonialism, Overview."  Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
• Postcolonial Urban Apartheid, Items and Issues 5(4): 8-15 (2006)  <>
• States of Fragmentation in North Africa.  Middle East Report 237: 26-33 (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).
• Review of Generous Betrayal: Cultural Pluralism in the New Europe, Uni Wikan (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002).  American Ethnologist 32(1): 1036-1037 (2005). 
• Amazigh Activism and the Moroccan State.  Middle East Report  233: 44-48 (2004) (with David Crawford).
• Headscarves and the French Tricolor.  Middle East Report Online, January 29, 2004  <>.
• 'No Pardon': Rage and Revolt in Kabylia.  Middle East Insight 16 (4): 61-65 (2001).


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