Daniel M. Varisco
Professor of Anthropology
Degrees: PHD, 1982, Univ Pennsylvania; MA, 1975, Univ Pennsylvania; BA, 1973, Wheaton Coll IL
Dr. Varisco is an anthropologist, historian and Arabist with extensive research and consulting experience in the Middle East. He conducted ethnographic fieldwork in a highland agricultural community in Yemen in 1978-79 and has returned to Yemen more than 15 times for research and as a development expert. During the 1980s he received four post-doctoral grants for research on Arabic texts in Egypt, Yemen, Qatar and Turkey.
Dr. Varisco’s most recent book, Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid (U Washington Press, 2007) is a critical assessment of Edwards Said’s seminal Orientalism (1978) and the debate surrounding it. His Islam Obscured (Palgrave, 2005) provides a critical look at the rhetoric of four seminal social science texts on Islam. He edited and translated a 13th century Yemeni almanac (Medieval Agriculture and Islamic Science, U Washington Press, 1994). He has published more than three dozen articles and chapters in professional publications, over 100 book reviews and numerous commentaries in bulletins and on his blog Tabsir at www.tabsir.net.
Dr.Varisco is currently co-editor of the international peer-reviewed journal, Contemporary Islam, and founding editor of CyberOrient (www.cyberorient.net), an online journal for the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. He has served as President of the Middle East Section and on the boards of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq. At Hofstra he has served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology and the first Director of the Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies Program.