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Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology & History (defended)
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Daniel Birchok is a historical anthropologist of Indonesian religions whose primary research focuses on Islam in twentieth and twenty-first century Aceh. His book project, titled The Pasts of Islam: Islamization, Genealogy and Ritual in an Indonesian Province, explores the ways Indonesian Muslims understand themselves to participate in the unfolding of Islamic history through practices that conjoin narrative and ritual elements. Through an examination of mystical practices, the expression of genealogies, narratives of Islamization, and grave visitation in the Acehnese regency of Nagan Raya, the work argues for new approaches to the category of the local in studies of Islam and the Indonesian nation. More broadly, Dr. Birchok’s research and teaching interests include Islamic history and practice, religions in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean world, religion in public life, ethnographic research methods, natural disasters, the anthropology of space and time, gender, and historical anthropology.
After graduating with his doctoral degree in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan in 2013, Dr. Birchok completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Religion Department at Oberlin College. He is the author of “Putting Habib Abdurrahim in His Place: Genealogy, Scale, and Islamization in Seunagan, Indonesia,” forthcoming in Comparative Studies in Society and History, and Coffee and Comedy: A Portrayal of Village Life Suggests Alternate Model of Piety in Aceh, in the on-line periodical Inside Indonesia.
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