Jane Abell

Anthropology PhD Candidate

This graduate student is available to deliver lectures to your K-12 classroom at no charge. All requests MUST be booked through the Middle East Center Speaker's Bureau

Jane Lief Abell is a Ph.D candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Islamic Studies from Swarthmore College. She conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Philadelphia for her dissertation, which considers how race shapes the lives of and relations among Black and Arab American Muslims in the city. This project grew out of her interests in race and racialization processes in the U.S. and Middle East and prior research on Arab and Muslim American history. 


2013 - Present    PhD­ Candidate, Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

                             Committee: John L. Jackson, Jr. (chair), Marc Lamont Hill, Kathleen D. Hall

2011                     BA, Sociology/Anthropology & Islamic Studies, Swarthmore College (high honors)

2009                     Arabic Language Certificate, Higher Language Institute, Damascus University

Research Interests

Anthropology of Islam

Anthropology of the Middle East

Anthropology of Race

Arab American Studies

Islam in the United States

Urban Anthropology

Visual & Media Ethnography

Media & Pop Culture

Courses Taught

2020                     Instructor of Record, Moore College of Art & Design

                             Spring 2020: Outside the Western Frame (Anth 200)


2019 - 2020         Teaching Assistant/Grader, Temple University

                             Fall 2020: Media & Pop Culture w. Marc Lamont Hill

                             Fall 2020: Kids in Crisis w/ Marc Lamont Hill

                             Fall 2019: Media & Pop Culture w. Marc Lamont Hill


2014 - 2018         Teaching Assistant, University of Pennsylvania

                             Fall 2018: History of God (Rels 132) w. Steven Weitzman

                             Spr. 2016: Medical Anthropology (Anth 238) w. Beth Hallowell

                             Fall 2015: Feminist Ethnography (Anth 334/634) w. Deborah Thomas

                             Spr. 2015: Modern World & Its Cultural Background (Anth 004) w. Greg Urban

                             Fall 2014: Globalization & Its Historical Significance (Anth 012) w. Brian Spooner,

                             Mauro Guillén, and Lee Cassanelli


2017                     Teaching Assistant, Johns Hopkins University

                             Summer 2017: Storytelling Bootcamp in Museum Studies w. Victoria Prizzia

Selected Publications

Forthcoming. w/ Marc Lamont Hill & Noura Aladjuani, “Blackface & Race Consciousness in Arab          Popular Culture: An Analysis of Myriam Fares’ Goumi.”

2016a. “Reclaiming Identity, Online: An Interview with Evelyn Alsultany, University of          Michigan.” American Anthropologist 118, no. 1: 161-165.

2016b. “Curating Ambivalence: An Interview with Erica Lehrer, Concordia                                          University.” American Anthropologist 117, no. 3: 587-598.

2015. Review of Leisurely Islam. Allegra Lab, last updated January 13,                  2015: http://allegralaboratory.net/review-leisurely-islam/.


Affiliated PhD Scholar, Penn Institute for Urban Research         

American Anthropological Association

American Anthropological Association, Middle East Section

Middle East Studies Association

Society for Cultural Anthropology

Society for the Anthropology of North America

Society for the Anthropology of Religion

Society for Visual Anthropology

CV (file)