Michael Vicente Perez (PhD 2011, Michigan State)
Sociocultural anthropology and Near East Studies, ethnicity and nationalism, transnational migration and displacement (diaspora), refugees and human rights, Muslim politics, memory and violence
"My research interests concern the impact of migration and displacement upon the formation and meaning of ethnicity, nationhood, and homelands for refugees and their location within the nation-state. In my dissertation, Palestinian Refugees and the Politics of Ethno-National Identity in Jordan, I explored how local and transnational politics and the meaning of displacement constituted particular forms of identification that underscored the possibilities and limits of Palestinian nationhood among refugees in The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Based on two years of ethnographic research, my dissertation showed how ethnic and national categories of identity, whether at the level of the state, national elites, or everyday people, were produced within a nexus of national and transnational struggles that revealed the contentious position of Palestinian refugees within their host state as Jordanian citizens and their homeland as a diaspora community. In my future research, I plan to expand the focus of Muslim studies to Latin America by examining the histories and experiences of Latino/a Muslim communities in South America. I will consider how Islam has been incorporated into the lives of Latino/a communities and what it suggests about the intersections between Arab and Latin American culture, migration, and politics. This project has the potential of addressing larger questions of how local and transnational forces factor into the production of Muslim communities and provides an opportunity to examine emergent meanings and expressions of Islam in Latin America."
Last Update: September 2011