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Ehsan Estiri

Ehsan Estiri

Adjunct Instructor

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I study how the vernacular and political interact. Having had interdisciplinary training in cultural anthropology, film-ethnography, folkloristics, migration studies, and Middle East studies, my academic endeavor has been focused on the cross-disciplinary study of interactions between macro-dynamics of contemporary political, ideological, and economic relations and the micro vernacular processes of everyday life in Middle Eastern societies and their diasporas. My research offers a theoretical framework to formulate the ways Middle Easterners, including those living in diaspora, respond to and negotiate with technologies of dominance through trivialized folkloric practices and genres of everyday life such as foodways, clothing, body adornments, home décor, music, dance, public heritage events, and parties. As these everyday-life genres are performative and visually and aurally complex, I employ a cross-disciplinary method to gather and present the information. I use the qualitative method of participant observation in cultural anthropology (participation, observation, note-taking, photography, and interviews), as well as the film-ethnography method which uses audio/video to capture and present information.


Ph.D. Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Ohio State University (2020)                                          

M.A. Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University (2014)

M.A. Social Anthropology with Specialization in Film Ethnography, Dalarna University, Sweden (2010)


Folkloristics Anxiety: What Can Folklorists Learn from Conceptualizations of Tradition in Anthropology of Islam?” New Directions in Folklore. vol. 16(1), 15-26. Politics of Traditionalization: Justification and Framing Processes in Historical Continuity of the Iranian Fire Festival.” Western Folklore vol. 77 (2), 109-139. 
Folklore: Artistic or Anthropological Reality?” Diyar vol. 4, 29-51.