Amira Mittermaier, Ph.D. (2006, Columbia University)
Associate Professor, Anthropology and the Department for the Study of Religion
*ON LEAVE January 1-June 30, 2020*
Office: JHUMINST 332
Research Keywords: Socio-Cultural Anthropology; Religion; Dreams and Prophecy; Islam
Research Region: Egypt
Amira Mittermaier is an Associate Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and the Department of Anthropology. She received her PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from Columbia University and is cross-appointed to the Anthropology Department. Bringing together textual analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, her research to date has focused on modern Islam in Egypt. Her first book, Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination,explores Muslim practices of dream interpretation, as they are inflected by Islamic reformism, Western psychology, and mass mediation. Professor Mittermaier’s current book project, tentatively titled The Ethics of Giving: Islamic Charity in Contemporary Egypt, examines different Islamic modes of giving in post-revolutionary Egypt. Professor Mittermaier provides opportunities for student supervision in areas such as modern and postcolonial Islam, Sufism, anthropological approaches to religion, and ethnographic method and writing.
- Anthropology of Islam
- Anthropology of religion
- Anthropology of the Middle East
- Modern Islamic thought
Major Awards and Grants
2014. Named to Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
2012-13. Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowship, Jackman Humanities Institute Fellowship, University of Toronto
2011. Winner of the Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion, awarded by Society for the Anthropology of Religion, for Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press 2011)
2011. Winner of Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing, second place, awarded by Society for Humanistic Anthropology, for Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press 2011)
2011. Winner of Award for Excellence in the Analytical-Descriptive Studies category, awarded by American Academy of Religion, for Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press 2011)
2011. Winner of Chicago Folklore Prize, awarded jointly by the American Folklore Society and the University of Chicago, for for Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press 2011)
2011. Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Articles and Chapters
2014. “Beyond Compassion: Islamic Voluntarism in Egypt.” American Ethnologist 41(3).
2014. “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice: The Egyptian Uprising and a Sufi Khidma.” Cultural Anthropology 29(1): 54-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.14506/ca29.1.05.
2014. “Trading with God: Islam, Calculation, Excess.” In Companion to the Anthropology of Religion, edited by Michael Lambek and Janice Boddy. Wiley-Blackwell, 274-294.
2014. “Dreams.” In Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, edited by C. Fritzpatrick andA. Walker. ABC-CLIO, 151-153.
2012. “Invisible Armies: Reflections on Egyptian Dreams of War.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 54(2): 392-417.
2012. “Dreams from Elsewhere: Muslim Subjectivities beyond the Trope of Self-Cultivation.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18(2):247-265.
2010. “A Matter of Interpretation: Dreams, Islam, and Psychology in Contemporary Egypt.” In After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement, edited by Courtney Bender and Pamela Klassen. New York: Columbia University Press, 178-200.
2008. “(Re)Imagining Space: Dreams and Saint Shrines in Egypt.” In Dimensions of Locality: Muslim Saints, their Place and Space (Yearbook of the Sociology of Islam 2008), edited by Georg Stauth and Samuli Schielke. Bielefeld: Transcript, 47-66.
2007. “The Book of Visions: Dreams, Poetry, and Prophecy in Contemporary Egypt.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 39 (2): 229-47.