Visiting Fellow J. Andrew Bush discusses his recently published book, Between Muslims: Religious Difference in Iraqi Kurdistan. Bush’s book is based on extensive fieldwork in the Kurdistan region of Iraq between 2004 and 2013, combining ethnography and textual analysis to describe the ethical lives of Muslims who do not aspire to pious commitment. Integrating textual analysis of poetry, sermons, and Islamic history into accounts of everyday life in Iraqi Kurdistan, Between Muslims illuminates the interplay of attractions and aversion to Islam among ordinary Muslims. Tamar Shirinian, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will join the webinar as discussant.
Dr. Andrew Bush is an anthropologist who studies Islamic traditions in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and a Visiting Fellow at the Program for Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School. His research in Kurdistan over the last 16 years has addressed topics ranging from Islamic law to Sufi poetry, gender and sexuality, and secular politics. His work combines a close study of textual traditions in Kurdish, Persian, and Arabic with ethnographic research into the everyday lives of Muslims where those texts come to life. His current research connects questions of manhood and masculinity to a range of Islamic legal forums in contemporary Iraq.
Dr. Tamar Shirinian is a Postdoctoral Teaching Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University in 2016. Shirinian’s research is invested in the ways that intimacy plays a role in political, economic, and geopolitical practices, especially in the post-Soviet Republic of Armenia. Her work has been published in American Ethnologist, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Anthropology & Humanism, and Gender, Place & Culture among other venues. Additionally, Shirinian formerly served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies.