I am an anthropologist and Research Associate at CARMAH. Most of my work focuses on heritage, memory, mobility, and loss – and more recently also on sound and empire. As well as researching and publishing on these and other topics, I have engaged in diverse modes of knowledge communication and creative expression, including making a sound installation at Amsterdam Museum.
Currently, I am working on a monograph on temporality, heritage and loss in Beirut, which is based on my long-term research in Lebanon.
Prior to becoming an anthropologist, I trained as a political scientist, interpreter and human rights consultant. I studied anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, the Polish Academy of Sciences and University College London. Also, I was awarded several fellowships, including at the Free University of Berlin, the American University of Beirut and the Orient Institut Beirut.
My research at CARMAH, as part of the Making Differences project, focused on the politics and poetics of representation, recognition and difference in Berlin. It entailed ethnographic fieldwork on a collaborative project between a state museum and a local collective, the majority of whose members recently arrived in Germany from the conflict-battered countries of Syria and Iraq. Also, I researched a slam poetry group of young Muslims, and ways in which they negotiated their belonging in Germany.
Recently, I edited the book Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities, with Sharon Macdonald and Mirjam Shatanawi. The volume provides fresh insights into entanglements between the concepts of heritage, Europe and Islam (see also here).
Research Expertise and Interests
- Heritage, memory, loss
- Mobility, migration, translocality
- Belonging, difference, diversity politics
- Sound, image, performance
- Middle East – Lebanon
- Europe – Germany
Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities, Puzon, Katarzyna, Macdonald Sharon and Mirjam Shatanawi (eds), Routledge, 2021 [Open Access]
‘Heritage and Policymaking in Lebanon’, Insights into Cultural Policies in Lebanon, issue edited by Hanane Hajj Ali and Nadia von Maltzahn, Orient-Institut Studies, Beirut, 2021 (in Arabic and English) [Open Access]
‘Germans without Footnotes: Islam, Belonging and Poetry Slam’, in Katarzyna Puzon, Sharon Macdonald and Mirjam Shatanawi (eds) Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities, Routledge, 2021 [Open Access]
‘Heritage, Islam, Europe: Entanglements and Directions. An Introduction’, in Katarzyna Puzon, Sharon Macdonald and Mirjam Shatanawi (eds) Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities, Routledge, 2021, with Mirjam Shatanawi and Sharon Macdonald [Open Access]
‘Reframing Islam? Potentials and Challenges of Participatory Initiatives in Museums and Heritage’, in Katarzyna Puzon, Sharon Macdonald and Mirjam Shatanawi (eds) Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities, Routledge, 2021, with Sharon Macdonald, Christine Gerbich, Rikke Gram and Mirjam Shatanawi [Open Access]
‘Saving Beirut: Heritage and the City’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 25(9): 914-925, 2019 (published online in 2017)
‘Participatory Matters: Access, Migration, and Heritage in Berlin Museums’, in Heike Oevermann and Eszter Gantner (eds) Securing Urban Heritage: Agents, Access, and Securitization, Routledge, 2019
‘Translocality’, in Otherwise: Rethinking Museums and Heritage, Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2018 [Open Access]
Review of Mara A. Leichtman (2015), ‘Shi’i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa. Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal’, Indiana University Press. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24(3): 649-650, 2018
Wissen/Schaffen Exhibition Catalogue. Exhibition by Claire Lambe and Susan Ossman at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2018, with Claire Lambe and Susan Ossman
‘Memory and Artistic Production in a Post-war Arab City’, in Des O’Rawe and Mark Phelan (eds) Post-conflict Performance, Film and Visual Arts: Cities of Memory. Contemporary Performance InterActions, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016