Anita Fábos is an anthropologist who has conducted research and outreach among refugees and other forced migrants in urban settings in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Her scholarship and practice pursues a number of interconnected themes in the area of forced migration and refugee studies: how people make and transform ethnic and racial boundaries and boundary markers, people’s experiences of displacement and challenges to gender norms, historical shifts in citizenship and nationality laws, methods and ethics of research with hidden, vulnerable and mobile populations, transcultural social networks, and refugee narratives and representations. Starting with a lengthy period of action research, NGO activism and outreach in Cairo, Fábos’ research and writing has followed the movements of Muslim Arab Sudanese—her main research participants–from their place of first exile in Egypt, to asylum in Europe and North America, and towards the formation of a diaspora straddling Islamic ‘space’ (countries in which Islam is the religion of the state) and the ‘asylum space’ of countries of resettlement in Europe and North America. As the Director of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program at the American University in Cairo, and later Programme Coordinator for the graduate program in Refugee Studies at the University of East London, Fábos has been involved in developing integrated teaching, research, and outreach programs that have incorporated refugee and forced migrant perspectives into collaborative work with scholars, practitioners, refugee organizations, policy makers, and international organizations. At Clark University, students in her classes have carried out community-based projects that have investigated refugee participation in community development initiatives, refugee access to higher education, and refugee livelihoods in Worcester. Fábos is currently conducting ethnographic research on the transnational strategies of women and men in the Muslim Arab Sudanese diaspora to promote ‘family values’ and negotiate a Sudanese diasporic identity, particularly in the context of global Islam. Other projects include an edited collection on the relevance of a ‘spiritual geography’ of Islam on forced migration within the Muslim world in a time of intensifying discourse of ‘security’; a special issue of Home Cultures that interrogates ‘home-making’ in protracted refugee situations; and an exploration of wedding singers and the performance of Sudanese music in the Muslim Arab Sudanese diaspora.
Worcester, Massachusetts, United States