Foroogh Farhang

Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs
Areas of Expertise Ethics, Gender, Human Rights, Immigration, Displacement & Borders, Inequality & Poverty, International Institutions, Political Economy, Social Movements
Areas of Interest The political economy of war and conflict, displacement, mobility, and borderlands in the Middle East.


Foroogh Farhang is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs at Watson Institute. Her research explores the political economy of war and conflict, displacement, mobility, and borderlands in the Middle East. Since 2013, she has conducted research throughout Lebanon, as well as in different regions of Iran, including Eastern Kurdistan and Tehran.

Foroogh completed her PhD in Cultural Anthropology and Middle East and North African Studies at Northwestern University after receiving an MA in Gender Studies from Central European University.


Foroogh’s current book project is based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork with Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians in northern and eastern Lebanon. It follows displaced Syrians’ quests for a proper burial in Lebanon to examine how networks of people self-organize to navigate the constraints of national and transnational modes of care, and in the process, make new modalities of living, dying, and community-making possible. Unlike prevailing scholarship which analyzes displacement merely within the legal framework of refugeehood and in the spaces of refugee camps, Foroogh’s book explores Syrians’ burials across a range of legal and socioeconomic statuses, both within and outside of refugee camps. In so doing, it emphasizes the entanglement of the lives and deaths of newly displaced Syrians with other marginalized communities in Lebanon in ways which fall outside of existing legal and spatial framework of refugee regime. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Max Weber Foundation, and the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.


Before coming to Brown, Foroogh taught courses in the Department of Anthropology as well as the International Studies program at Northwestern University. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at Watson Institute, she looks forward to teaching courses about migration and displacement, mobility and borderland, structural inequality, humanitarian law and practice, political and economic anthropology, and the Middle East.