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Dr Morgan Clarke

Associate Professor/University Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Tutorial Fellow in Anthropology


I am an anthropologist, specialising in the Middle East. I teach social anthropology within the university as a university lecturer and member of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, and as a tutor in anthropology here at Keble. I help direct studies for Keble students studying for the degrees in Archaeology and Anthropology and Human Sciences.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the Arabic-speaking Middle East with a particular interest in contemporary Islam, especially Islamic law and its relationship to positive law, secular ethics and the civil state. My fieldwork to date has been in Lebanon (2003-4, 2007-8), although I have developing interests in the Arab Gulf States. My doctoral work (Oxford, 2006) focused on Islamic bioethics, concerning assisted reproduction in particular, and was published as Islam and new kinship: reproductive technology and the shariah in Lebanon (Berghahn, 2009). I continue to be interested in global medical, ethical and legal assemblages, and contribute to teaching in medical anthropology within the university and the college. My current book project, developed through postdoctoral work at Cambridge (British Academy PDF, 2006-9) and Manchester (Simon Research Fellowship, 2009-11), is an ethnography of sharia discourse in Lebanon, focusing on the sharia (family law) courts and their relationship to non-state Islamic institutions. That involved fieldwork in both Sunni and Shi‘i contexts, including mosques, Sufi circles and the offices of major religious authorities, most notably Lebanon’s late Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah. With regard to the latter, I have an enduring interest in Shi‘i Islam, with recent and forthcoming publications on the impact of the Internet and other new media on the social construction of religious authority within the tradition.

College Contact Details

Dr Morgan Clarke
Keble College
Telephone: 01865 272727
Fax: 01865 272705

Faculty/Dept. Information

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology