Gregory Starrett

Gregory Starrett (B.A. Northwestern University 1983, Ph.D. Stanford University 1991) has taught Anthropology at UNC Charlotte since 1992. He has talked about his research on the cultural politics of Islam in the Middle East to audiences at numerous churches and community groups in Charlotte, as well as to the State Department, the Library of Congress, and major universities in the US, Canada, Israel, and the UK. His 1998 book Putting Islam to Work: Education, Politics and Religious Transformation in Egypt (California 1998), examines religious education and its connection to state politics and popular Islamic movements. He recently co-edited Teaching Islam: Religion and Textbooks in the Middle East (Lynne Reinner 2007), with Eleanor Doumato of Brown University. Responding to concerns that Islamic education is responsible for anti-American sentiment, this volume critically analyzes the religion curricula of nine countries, demonstrating how scholarship can illuminate contemporary international issues. He has also conducted research on secularism, religious commodities, and public culture in Egypt, on African-American Muslim communities, on Islamophobia and ritual in multicultural education in the US, and on the folklore of bioterrorism. He has served as President of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association (2009-2010), Editor of the Middle East Studies Association’s journal, the Review of Middle East Studies (2007-2012), and currently serves on the editorial boards of two journals: CyberOrient, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, and during the 2013-2014 academic year, he is serving as the President-Elect of the UNC Charlotte Faculty.

There are 9 included publications by Gregory Starrett :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
The American Interest in Islamic Schooling: A Misplaced Emphasis? 2006 1013 Since 2001, many American intellectuals and policymakers have blamed terrorism and conflict on Middle Eastern educational systems, which they claim do little but indoctrinate students with anti-American sentiment. Pressure has been put on many countr...
The Hexis of Interpretation: Islam and the Body in the Egyptian Popular School 2014 1105 This article examines how travelers, colonial officials, and educators have treated prayer and other body rituals in Egyptian popular schools. Once the object of colonial critiques of indigenous pedagogy, body ritual has now become the focus of a fun...
Islam and the Politics of Enchantment 2009 1064 The North American public sphere is suffused with claims and counter-claims about the relationship between Islam and violence. Schools and publishers have responded with training programmes for teachers and curriculum units for students introducing t...
The Political Economy of Religious Commodities in Cairo 1995 959 Anthropology’s rediscovery of material culture has emphasized the centrality of objects and their production in constituting human experience. In Egypt, the design, mass production and marketing of different classes of religious objects-from prayer b...
Seeking the Seeker: Frameworks for Understanding Islamic Commodities 2007 570 Contemporary Muslim criticisms of the commodification of religion are similar in some ways to the sociology of culture formulated by members of the Frankfurt School of the mid-twentieth century, particularly Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, as insp...
Signposts Along the Road: Monumental Public Writing in Egypt 1995 3033 Studies of writing in developing societies generally focus on book, newspaper and commercial literacy, and do not address the cultural significance of writing on craft and manufactured objects, on the one hand, and the use of writing on public signs,...
The Varieties of Secular Experience 2010 825 Taking the Egyptian case as an example, this article examines secularism (and its cognates secularity and the secular), not so much as a failed social project, but as a problematic concept. Reflecting on the on-going scholarly interest in the notion ...
Violence and the Rhetoric of Images 2003 1859 This article is about the politics of visual representation, specifically about how the documentary photograph can be used to mobilize collectivities. Images become the medium for transnational political contests in which opposing groups mobilized by...
Who Put the "Secular" in "Secular State"? 1999 378 In this essay I hope to add an anthropological voice to the conversation about political Islam, one which seeks its context not in relation to some underdefined “non-political” or “traditional” or “pure” Islam, whatever those might look like, but in ...