Professor, Anthropology Department
- Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Michigan (1988)
- M.A. in Linguistics, University of Michigan (1976)
- M.A. in Near Eastern Languages & Literature, University of Michigan (1972)
- B.A. in Near Eastern Languages & Literature, University of Michigan (1970)
Geographical Areas of Specialization: Kosova, Turkey, Albania, Muslim communities in North America
Topical Interests: Islam in the Balkans, Discourse Analysis, Sufism, Disaster Studies, migration, gender
I have studied language in Muslim communities, often vulnerable ones--including immigrant communities, Balkan Muslim communities, and those in conflict situations. I have also studied language in professional institutions. I have conducted ethnographic studies in these communities and institutions, and used discourse analysis, that is, systematic study of language in use, to better understand the dynamics of interaction within these settings.
As a linguistic anthropologist, I have focused on Islam in the Balkans. I have principally studied Albanian Muslims, both in diaspora communities in America and Turkey, and in their main Balkan homelands of Albania, Kosova, and Macedonia. I became an authority on Bektashism, a 700-year old Sufi or Muslim mystic order that has been prominent among Albanians. At the same time I became most knowledgeable about Albanians and their history. With the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, I studied Kosova before and after the conflict.
My interest in organizations and disasters has come together with contrastive research on local and international organizations in Kosova. I have a long-term interest in the largely neglected forced migrations of Muslims from the Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries.
2009 The Sufi Journey of Baba Rexheb. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology with University of Pennsylvania Press.
2008 Muslim Voices and Lives in the Contemporary World. Trix, F. and J. & L. Walbridge (eds.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Articles, Chapters, and Technical Reports
2010 "Contesting Immigrant Voice in Istanbul: Mass Media, Verbal Play, Immigrant Channels," Language and Communication, 30, 7-18.
2010 "Kosova: Resisting Expulsion and Striving for Independence," in Sabrina Ramet (ed.) Central and Southeastern Europe since 1989. New York: Cambridge University Press,
2008 “Growing Up Muslim in America," in Trix, F. and L. and J. Walbridge (eds.). Muslim Voices and Lives in the Contemporary World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 125-136.