Charles Hirschkind

Anthropology

Charles Hirschkind is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.  His research interests concern religious practice, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the urban Middle East and Europe. In his recent book, The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics (2006), he explores how a popular Islamic media form—the cassette sermon—has profoundly transformed the political geography of the Middle East over the last three decades. He is also the co-editor (with David Scott) of Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad an his Interlocutors (2005). Other publications include “Cultures of Death: Religion, Media, Bioethics” (Social Text 2008), “Is There a Secular Body?” (Cultural Anthropology 2011), Experiments in Online Devotion: The Youtube Khutba (Int’l J. of Middle East Studies 2012). His current project is based in southern Spain and explores some of the different ways in which Europe’s Islamic past inhabits its present, unsettling contemporary efforts to secure Europe’s Christian civilizational identity.