Somali Bantu Refugees in the US. Since 2003, Lewiston, Maine has become home to thousands of Somali and Somali Bantu refugees, some of whom come from the village in Somalia where I conducted fieldwork in 1987-8. My current research documents their experiences and how their presence has transformed Lewiston. I am currently working on a book about Somali Bantu efforts in the U.S., Kenya, and Somalia to fashion lives at the intersection of militarism and humanitarianism as an example of a new norm of globalization, analyzing the way the refugees are creating subjectivities and new social relations as paradigmatic of a new global order. This project is supported by grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies.
View the website built by Colby students, members of the Somali Bantu community of Lewiston, and myself: The Somali Bantu Experience: From East Arica to Maine. Our museum exhibition at the Museum L/A associated with this website, Rivers of Immigration: Peoples of the Androscoggin, won awards from the American Association for State and Local History and the New England Museum Association.
Post Apartheid Transformation in Cape Town. This research project studies the challenges of effecting transformation in a city left with enduring material and ideological divisions after apartheid. Transforming Cape Town, (University of California Press 2008) follows the efforts of 6 projects of transformation, chronicling the success and failures of new grassroots initiatives to combat poverty, transform education, and support youth development. This book was recognized with a Leeds Honor Book Award from SUNTA.
Public Anthropology. Anthropology is a discipline of profound importance in a globalized world. Demonstrating anthropology's critical insights on contemporary issues is the central project of two coedited books with anthropologist Hugh Gusterson (George Mason University). The Insecure American (University of California Press, 2009) and Why America's Top Pundits are Wrong (University of California Press, 2005).
Click on this link to read the pledge against anthropological involvement in covert intelligence work: Pledge