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Satyel Larson

Department/Program(s):
  • Near Eastern Studies
Position: Core Faculty
Title: Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies
Area(s):
  • Anthropology
  • Law and society
  • The Maghreb
  • Women, gender and sexuality
Office: 115 Jones Hall
Phone: 609-258-3609



Satyel Larson is an assistant professor specializing in women, gender, and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work is ethnographic, historical, and mostly based in Morocco. Her scholarship focuses on how legal, medical, and religious culture influence practices of kinship and reproduction, and on the flow of ideas and technologies of gender and sexuality between the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Europe. She has written on the politics of kinship, ethnicity, and Islamic identity in Maghrebi law and society. Her current book project examines the resilience of unconventional kinship and reproductive practices in modern Morocco. The book is based on archival research and fieldwork conducted in an Islamic family law court, a maternity hospital, and popular healing sites in Rabat and Casablanca.

Professor Larson holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Social Sciences and Department of Anthropologyat the University of Chicago from 2012–15. At Chicago, she taught courses in political economy, social and political theory, feminist and postcolonial thought, and cultural analysis, for which she was awarded an outstanding distinction in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. In her teaching as well as her research, she attends to questions of knowledge production and social marginalization, and to discourses of progress, normalcy, health, freedom, and resistance. She has held fellowships from various institutions, including the American Association of University Women, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, the Empirical Legal Studies Group at Boalt Law School, and the Al-Falah Program in Islamic Studies at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley.

Selected Publications:

“State of Equalities: Law, Marriage and Citizenship in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.” in Islam, Law and Identity. Marinos Diamantidis and Adam Gearey (eds), 136-66. London & New York: Routledge, 2013.