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Keith Brown

Professor (Research):
Watson Institute for International Studies
Phone: +1 401 863 9604
Keith_Brown@Brown.EDU

Areas of Interest:
Nationalism and ethnicity; democracy promotion and citizenship; Military, war, and society; transnational and global ethnography; labor migration; South-Eastern Europe.

Biography

Keith Brown works primarily in the domain of culture, politics and identity. As well as extensive research on ethno-nationalism and the role of national history in the Balkans, his more recent work explores how different transnational processes--including labor migration, democracy promotion, and commodity production--contribute to people's sense of long-distance connection, and new forms of citizenship and belonging. He is committed to collaborative research and learning that involves scholars and practitioners working in different professions and academic disciplines.

Keith Brown studied at Oxford University and the University of Chicago, and then taught at Bowdoin College and the University of Wales before joining the Watson Institute in 1999. He spent 1999-2000 as a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, and 2005-6 as a visiting fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute.

Interests

Keith Brown works primarily in the domain of culture, politics and identity. As well as extensive research on ethno-nationalism and the role of national history in the Balkans, his more recent work explores how different transnational processes--including labor migration, democracy promotion, and commodity production--contribute to people's sense of long-distance connection, and new forms of citizenship and belonging. He is committed to collaborative research and learning that involves scholars and practitioners working in different professions and academic disciplines.

His research into how different communities construct history in Macedonia, Greece, and Bulgaria led to his book The Past in Question: Modern Macedonia and the Uncertainties of Nation, as well as a number of articles on the culture, history, and politics of Macedonia. He is engaged on long-term research on the interaction between political activism and labor migration, and is currently completing a book on the role of terrorism in the Macedonian revolutionary movements of the early twentieth century, based on the Evans-Pritchard lectures he delivered at All Souls College, Oxford.
At the Watson Institute, he established the interdisciplinary Muabet project, which brings together scholars and practitioners to reflect on the dynamics of international intervention in the former Yugoslavia. This work led to the edited volume Transacting Transition: The Micropolitics of Democracy Assistance in the Former Yugoslavia, as well as a series of other publications tracking U.S. initiatives to foster the development of civil society in the region. Most recently, in a project involving civil society practitioners and activists, Brown undergraduates and Macedonian film-makers, he has been conducting oral historical research to track one USAID-funded civil society program from idea to impact.
In 2004-5, in collaboration with colleagues at Brown and the Naval War College, Newport, Brown launched the Watson Institute's research project on the phenomenon of military cultural awareness, exploring in particular the linkages between U.S. experience in the Balkans and interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the interplay of doctrine and experience in the evolution of counter-insurgency as a field of study and practice. Committed to facilitating dialogue between constituencies, the Institute has twice hosted the American Anthropological Association's commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the U.S. Security & Intelligence Communities, as well as the conference "Front Line, First Person: Iraq War Stories."

Beyond this research, Brown also seeks to bring the methods and perspectives of socio-cultural anthropology to hear on pressing global issues through innovative teaching. He is currently collaborating with Ian Cook, a geographer based at the University of Bristol, to encourage undergraduates to explore the social, cultural and economic lives of everyday things and to ask whether and to what extent knowledge of their production and distribution processes drives new forms of social identity, belonging and empathy.

Since July 2010, Brown has served as director of the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI).

Awards

Fulbright Award 2012-13.

University of Connecticut Humanities Institute Residential Fellowship, 2005-6.

National Humanities Center Fellowship, 2004-5 (declined)

Evans-Pritchard Lectureship, Oxford University, 2004.

The Past in Question selected for Honorable Mention for the Barbara Jelavich Award given by the Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, 2004.

Affiliations

American Anthropological Association

American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies

Royal Anthropological Institute

Association for the Study of Nationalities

Teaching

I teach courses in the fields of anthropology and international relations. My main ongoing responsibility is providing courses which emphasize the theoretical and methodological contributions of anthropology to the field of IR. Alongside primary courses in political anthropology and ethnographies of global connection, I have also taught economic and legal anthropology, and courses bringing anthropology to bear on humor and laughter, (modern) Europe, and the archive.

Funded Research

Fulbright Award to Macedonia for Project entitled "Democracy in Macedonia: Oral History, Civil Society and the Practices of Pluralism." 2012-13.
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research – Contract for Project entitled "Roads not taken: an Oral History of Macedonian Democracy since 1980."July 2012-June 2013.

Completed grants:
IREX Policy-Connect Grant for "From Idea to Impact: Studying Through a US Civil Society Program in Macedonia." September 2007-August 2008: $30,000. Principal Investigator.
NCEEER Grant for "Evaluating Intervention: Knowledge Production and Democracy Promotion in the Western Balkans." October 1006-October 2008: $38,000. Principal Investigator.
Award from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for continuation work on project "Local Dimensions of Sustainable Democracy-Building in the Southern Balkans," May 2005-July 2008. $40,000.

Brown University Salomon Award for collaborative project "Cultural awareness in military operations: The production of knowledge through doctrine, training, education and simulation." December 2005-December 2007: $30,000. (With Professors James Der Derian, Catherine Lutz, and Matthew Gutmann).
University of Connecticut Humanities Institute Residential Fellowship, August 2005-May 2006, for book project "Manifest Loyalties: The Routes of Modern Nationalism." $40,000.
Award from the Mott Foundation for continuation work on project "Local Dimensions of Sustainable Democracy-Building in the Southern Balkans," January 2005-December 2006. Principal Investigator: $50,000.
Scholarly Technology Group Faculty Grant, Brown University, for assistance with design and construction of website "Murder in Marseille." Fall 2004.
Joint award from the Mott Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for project entitled "Local Dimensions of Sustainable Democracy-Building in the Southern Balkans" 2002-3. $100,000.
United States Institute of Peace grant for project entitled "Interethnicity in Macedonia": for research and writing, 2001-2003. $38,000.
United States Institute of Peace Senior Fellowship, 1999-2000. $42,000.
British Academy Conference Grant, to support foreign attendance at "Intersecting Times" conference in Swansea, 2000. $2,500.
British Academy Elisabeth Barker Fund Award for research in Macedonia, 2000. $1,500.
University of Wales Collaboration Fund grant for the establishment and activity of a Centre for South-East European Studies, 1999-2000 (with Y.Hamilakis, P. Finney, M. Kenna, M. Pluciennik). $27,000.
University of Wales Collaboration Fund grant for seminar series and symposium, Negotiating Boundaries, 1997-8 (with Y.Hamilakis, P. Finney, M. Kenna, M. Pluciennik). $10,000.
Woodrow Wilson Center East European Studies Research Scholarship, 1996. $9,000.

Web Links

Curriculum Vitae

Download Keith Brown's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format