This project is supported by the Humanities Center, the Ethics Institute, and Northeastern University’s Departments of Philosophy and Religion, Sociology, and Anthropology.
Radicalism in a variety of formations is on the rise in the United States and around the world. Often, the scholars who study radicalism do so through critical media discourse or political analysis. At the same time, there is a vital field of research being shaped by anthropologists, who study radicalism by living (in person and digitally) with communities for extended periods of time to understand how and why radicalized worlds are built and sustained. This work is precarious, dangerous, and is filled with both immense possibilities for social impact and ethical dilemmas.
This workshop draws together leading anthropologists working in and on radicalized communities to talk about how we can reshape the trajectory of, support, and expand anthropological studies of radicalized communities. Some of the issues we will cover are: How can we make fieldwork safer for researchers? How do we sustain long-term, in-person fieldwork with radicalized communities while writing about them? How can we understand the researcher in relationship to the community they study (issues of bias, reflexivity, and false consciousness)? How does online ethnography change the study of radicalism? How can we theoretically expand our notion of how radicalism is understood in the study of political authority?
This workshop will be one of the first of its kind on this topic. We intend for this event to be the start of a networked community that we will continue to build and expand in the coming years at Northeastern University, with a specific focus on supporting and mentoring young scholars, graduate students, and early career scholars working on these pressing issues.
While the papers presented in the workshop will be given by invited scholars, both domestic and international, we aim to make this an inclusive, generative experience for Northeastern faculty and advanced graduate students, plus faculty and advanced graduate students from universities in the Boston metro area. To facilitate their involvement as audience members, we will provide opportunities for question-and-answer sessions throughout the two-day event.
This workshop will run from March 22 to March 23, 2024, and attendance is invite-only.
Assistant Professor of Religion and Anthropology
Sarah Riccardi-Swartz is an assistant professor of religion and anthropology at Northeastern University. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Religious Studies from Missouri State University. She earned an M.Phil and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from New Yor…
Professor-Researcher at the Center for Sociological Studies – College of Mexico
Nitzan Shoshan is a cultural anthropologist and professor at the Centro de Estudios Sociológicos at El Colegio de México in Mexico City. His work has focused on nationalism, populism, and right-wing extremism in Germany and beyond, on urban politics and governance in Berlin and Mexico City, and more recently on political conflict in Latin America.
Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology – University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Gregory Starrett is Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at UNC Charlotte. He has conducted research on the politics of Islam and public culture in Egypt, on African-American Muslim communities, on Islamophobia and ritual in multicultural education in the US, and on the anthropology of time and the continuing relevance of Europe’s historical “Jewish Question” for understanding contemporary issues of migration, refugees, racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia.
Cultural Anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Global Studies – University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Joyce Dalsheim is a cultural anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her work focuses on questions of identity and conflict, religion and the secular, nationalism, citizenship, sovereignty, and colonialism.
Assistant Professor of Digital Media & Ethnography – Allegheny College
Melody Devries is an Assistant Professor at Allegheny College. Drawing from her PhD (ABD) in Communication & Culture from Toronto Metropolitan University and a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, Devries’ research uses digital, relational, and auto-ethnographic methods to investigate the social processes and material relations that compel spiritual-political conviction.
Associate Professor of Theology and Culture – Christian Theological Seminary
Robert Saler is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Christian Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Associate Dean for Evaluation. He is the author or editor of several books, most recently “Death to the World” and Apocalyptic Theological Aesthetics (Bloomsbury, 2024). He is currently working on several projects related to the intersection of conspiracy theory, public epistemologies, and aesthetics.
Maddalena Gretel Cammellis
Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Department Cultures, Politics and Society – University of Turin
Maddalena Gretel Cammelli is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Department Cultures, Politics and Society, University of Turin. Since May 2023 she has served as the PI of the ERC Starting Grant Project “The world behind a Word. An anthropological Exploration of fascist practices and meanings among European youth. (F-WORD).”
Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer – Yale University
Agnieszka Pasieka is a sociocultural anthropologist. Her scholarship pursues two interrelated lines of inquiry. The first one makes central the question of difference, broadly understood, and examines the relationship between normative understandings of pluralism and pluralism as a lived practice. The second one focuses on political mobilization, activism and social movements, and explores how different social actors mobilize to address inequality and power hierarchies and what kind of alternative world they envision.
PhD student in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Communication
Larrisa (Larri) Miller (she/her) is a PhD student in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Communication. She received her M.S. in Data Analytics & Computational Social Science from UMass Amherst and her B.A. in Cognitive Science & Psychology from Lehigh University. She is pursuing Graduate Certificates in Feminist Studies and Statistical & Computational Data Science alongside her PhD. Larri’s work is rooted in her experience as a first-generation student from a rural, working-class family. She is interested in exploring world view formation within digital defensive counterpublics. She uses a blend of computational methods alongside digital ethnography.