Professor Pnina Werbner

Title: Professor Emerita
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Email: p.werbner@keele.ac.uk
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Pnina Werbner is Professor Emerita in Social Anthropology at Keele University. She is an urban anthropologist who has studied Muslim South Asians in Britain and Pakistan and, more recently, the women's movement and the Manual Workers Union in Botswana funded by the ESRC programme on Non-Governmental Public Action and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Her study in Botswana has led to her most recent monograph, The Making of an African Working Class and to a major edited book on the Political Aesthetics of Global Protest, both in 2014. In 2015 she was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship to study ‘The Changing Kgotla: The Transformation of Customary Courts in Village Botswana’. She has also been, since 2008, Principal Investigator of two major projects: ‘New African Migrants in the Gateway City: Ethnicity, Religion, Citizenship’ (ESRC) and ‘In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Prophet: Sociality, Caring and the Religious Imagination in the Filipino Diaspora’ (AHRC). In 2006, she convened the Association of Social Anthropologists diamond jubilee conference on Cosmopolitanism and Anthropology. The scope of her work is reflected in her published articles and collected volumes which engage with the challenges presented by the rise of Islamic radicalism, the Rushdie affair, cultural hybridity, migration and culture, religious identity, women, citizenship and difference. She has presented plenary addresses to the Australian, Swiss and American Associations and been invited to give keynote addresses throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, Israel, Pakistan, and Indonesia. She has been co-editor of the prestigious 'Postcolonial Encounters' series published by Zed Books (distributed by Palgrave in the US) and in addition, she organizes the annual Pakistan Workshop at Satterthwaite.

Her two books, Imagined Diasporas among Manchester Muslims and Pilgrims of Love, along with The Migration Process  make up the Manchester Migration Trilogy, a series of three single-authored books tracing the processes of Pakistani migration, community formation, religious transnationalism and diaspora over a period of fifty years. The series as a whole interrogates the translocation of culture - its dislocation, transplantation and translation in the course of migration. Collectively the three books form the most comprehensive body of ethnography about any immigrant community in Britain.

 I am an urban anthropologist who has studied Muslim South Asians in Britain and Pakistan and, more recently, the women's movement and the Manual Workers Union in Botswana as part of the ESRC programme on Non-Governmental Public Action. She is Principal Investigator of two major projects: ‘New African Migrants in the Gateway City: Ethnicity, Religion, Citizenship’ (ESRC) and ‘In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Prophet: Sociality, Caring and the Religious Imagination in the Filipino Diaspora’ (AHRC). I am also part of the ESRC Programme on Non-Governmental Public Action. In 2006, I convened the Association of Social Anthropologists diamond jubilee conference on Cosmopolitanism and Anthropology. The scope of my work is reflected in the published articles and collected volumes which engage with the challenges presented by the rise of Islamic radicalism, the Rushdie affair, cultural hybridity, women, citizenship and difference. I have presented plenary addresses to the Australian, Swiss and American Associations, and been invited to give keynote addresses throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, Israel, Pakistan, and Indonesia. She is co-editor of the prestigious 'Postcolonial Encounters' series published by Zed Books (distributed by Palgrave in the US) and organizes the annual Pakistan Workshop at Satterthwaite.

My two most recent books, Imagined Diasporas among Manchester Muslims and Pilgrims of Love are the second and third in the Manchester Migration Trilogy, a series of three single-authored books tracing the processes of Pakistani migration, community formation, religious transnationalism and diaspora over a period of fifty years. The series as a whole interrogates the translocation of culture - its dislocation, transplantation and translation in the course of migration. Collectively the three books form the most comprehensive body of ethnography about any immigrant community in Britain.

Selected Book Publications:

  • The Making of an African Working Class: Politics, Law, and Cultural Protest in the Manual Workers' Union of Botswana (Pluto Press, Anthropology, Culture and Society Series, 2014)
  • The Political Aesthetics of Global Protest: the Arab Spring and Beyond (Edinburgh University Press, Aga Khan series, 2014).
  • Anthropology and the New Cosmopolitanism: Rooted, Feminist and Vernacular Perspectives (edited, ASA Monograph 45, Berg 2008);
  • Pilgrims of Love: the Anthropology of a Global Sufi Cult (Hurst Publishers and Indiana University Press 2003);
  • Imagined Diasporas among Manchester Muslims (James Currey & School of American Research, Santa Fe 2002);
  • The Migration Process: Capital, Gifts and Offerings among British Pakistanis (Berg Publishers, pbk with new preface 2002)
  • Women, Citizenship and Difference (edited, Zed Books 1999);
  • Embodying Charisma (edited, Routlege 1998);
  • Debating Cultural Hybridity (edited, Zed Books 1997);
  • The Politics of Multiculturalism in the New Europe (edited, Zed Books 1997).

Special Journal Issues:

  • The Aesthetics of Diaspora (edited with Mark Johnson, Ethnos, 2013). 
  • The Moral Economy of the African Diaspora (edited with Mattia Fumanti African Diasporas 3, 1, 2010)
  • Diasporic Encounters, Sacred Journeys: Ritual, Normativity and the Religious Imagination among International Asian Migrant Women (edited with Mark Johnson, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 11, Nos. 3-4, 2010)
  • The Materiality of Late Modern Diasporas (edited with Karen Leonard, Diasporas 2000).