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Sa'ed AtshanActing Associate Professor


  • PhD, Harvard University, 2013
  • MA, Harvard University, 2010
  • MPP, Harvard University, 2008
  • BA, Swarthmore College, 2006


Dr. Sa’ed Atshan joined the Emory Anthropology faculty in Fall 2021. He has served as an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College, as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Senior Research Scholar in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

He is the author of Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique (Stanford University Press, 2020). Atshan is also the coauthor, with Katharina Galor (Judaic Studies, Brown University), of The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians (Duke University Press, 2020). The German translation of The Moral Triangle is entitled Israelis, Palästinenser und Deutsche in Berlin: Geschichten einer komplexen Beziehung (De Gruyter, 2021). His forthcoming book, Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories, is under contract with Stanford University Press in their Anthropology of Policy Series.

Atshan has recently embarked on two new projects. One is researching the convergent and divergent experiences of African-American and Palestinian Quakers, with an emphasis on the intersection of race and Christianity in the United States and Israel/Palestine. This project is entitled, “Can the Subaltern Quaker Speak?: Alienation and Belonging among Black and Palestinian Friends.” The other, “Queer Imaginaries and the Re-Making of the Modern Middle East,” is in collaboration with Phillip Ayoub (Diplomacy and World Affairs, Occidental College). Atshan and Ayoub are researching LGBTQ activism across the Middle East and North Africa region.

Dr. Atshan currently serves on the Corporation of Haverford College, the Board of the Association for Middle East Anthropology (AMEA) of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the Board of the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC), as the Policy and Law Book Reviews Editor for the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), and on the Editorial Committee of the Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS). He previously served for three years as an elected Board member for the Middle East Section (MES) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). 


Dr. Atshan's work is at the intersection of cultural anthropology, peace and conflict studies, the anthropology of policy, humanitarianism, critical development studies, gender and sexuality, human security, social movements, the Middle East and North Africa, religious studies, and Quaker Studies. His research is focused on a) contemporary Palestinian society and politics, b) global LGBTQ social movements, and c) Christian minorities in the Middle East.


ANT 285: Global Peace and Conflict

ANT 280: Anthropological Perspectives: Middle East and North Africa