What's Wrong with the Western Impression of Islam?

Kristen R. Ghodsee
Brunswick, ME

Social Science Religion


Kristen Ghodsee, PhD
Director and John S. Osterweis Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies
Bowdoin College
Kristen Ghodsee researches the social, political and economic changes following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the growing nostalgia for the communist past. She also can discuss how more fundamentalist versions of Islam are replacing the traditional practices and beliefs of Balkan Muslims. Finally, she and her colleague, Rachel Connelly, have written a book on finding work/family balance for mothers in academia.
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Contact Information:
Brunswick, ME 04011
United States
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Kristen Ghodsee earned her Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley and is an ethnologist and associate professor of gender and women’s studies at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Ghodsee is the author of Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism (Duke University Press, 2011), Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton University Press 2009), The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea (Duke University Press, 2005) as well as numerous other articles on gender, civil society and Eastern Europe. She is also the co-author of Professor Mommy: Finding Work/Family Balance in Academia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).

She is the recipient of national fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, NCEEER, IREX and ACLS, and has won residential research fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany and prestigious fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. and at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Story Pitch

Nostalgia for Communism Two Decades after Cold War
Ethnographer Kristen Ghodsee explores why some men and women in Eastern Europe long for the social security and stability of communism
Recent Publications/Appearances


April 17, 2013 "The Hunger Games, Revisited"

November 18, 2011 The Bowdoin Orient "Job shortage, fraught future for students"

Indiana University Podcasts "Headscarves as Politics: Gender, Islam, and Shifting Discourses of Social Justice in the Balkans 

October 29, 2008 Letter to the Editor, International Herald Tribune “Who Made Bulgaria’s Mafia?” 

BBC: The World: October 6, 2006
Lisa Mullins speaks with Kristen Ghodsee about the tug-of-war going on between conservative and secular Muslims in Bulgaria. (audio)

Dialogue: Dialogue Television: #1105 The Red Riviera
With Kristen Ghodsee author of "The Red Riviera" and professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College. (video)

The Red Riviera, was in the Chronicle of Higher Education in December 2005 as a "Nota Bene."

2009 Princeton University Press Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria

The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)


July 24, 2011 The Chronicle of Higher Education "Professor Mom: Finding Work-Family Balance Despite the Odds"


September 15, 2011 WIA Report The 2011 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology


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