J. Andrew Bush Visiting Fellow, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

Andrew Bush is an anthropologist who studies Islamic traditions in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. His ethnographic research in Kurdistan over the last 15 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.

Andrew holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, and his research has been supported by several grants including the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. His writing has appeared in American Ethnologist, the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle East. Andrew was a Humanities Research Fellow at New York University Abu Dhabi, where he was later Senior Lecturer, teaching courses in anthropology, law, and Islamic studies. His first bookexplores a form of religious difference that has been overlooked in the study of Islamic traditions: the difference between Muslims who seek to cultivate piety and become better Muslims, and Muslims who turn away from piety by neglecting prayer and other foundational rites. This book will published by Stanford University Press in September 2020 under the title Between Muslims: Religious Difference in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In 2019 he received a Post-Ph.D. Research Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to conduct fieldwork in on questions of manhood and masculinity in different forums of Islamic law in contemporary Iraq. Connecting the work of Fatwa Councils in Kurdistan to the work of personal status courts and the history of legal reform across Iraq, this project brings work on gender and Islamic law to bear on the study of men, and ties an anthropology of legal reforms projects to the intimate questions of marriage and divorce that punctuate everyday life.