American Univesity of Beirut

Sylvain Perdigon

Academic Summary

Sylvain Perdigon is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut. His research and teaching focus on relatedness, semiotics, and the question of refuge in the contemporary Levant. He is currently completing a book manuscript, Silat al-Rahm: Kinship, Natality and the Pursuit of Worldliness in a Palestinian Refugee Community, building on two years of ethnographic fieldwork during which he lived in a Palestinian refugee camp in Tyre. In the last few years, he has also been working on a new research project —the Sheep from the Future — on Lebanese Bedouin arts of shepherding, human-ovine communication, and the ecologics of transhumant pastoralism under conditions of climate drift in the Beqaa and Mount Lebanon.

Research Interests

Social Abandonment
Natural History of Communication

Courses Taught

SOAN 324 Semiotics
SOAN 323 Ecology and/of Refuge
SOAN 304 Anthropological Research Methods
SOAN 290 The Space of Refuge
SOAN 236 Semiotic Anthropology
SOAN 226 Religion and Society
SOAN 216 Hands-On Anthropology
SOAN 212 History and Theory of Anthropology
SOAN 103 Reading Other Cultures

Recent Publications

Perdigon, Sylvain, 2020. Can the Sovereign Learn? A Response to Maunaguru. Current Anthropology 61 (6).

Perdigon, Sylvain. 2018. Life on the Cusp of Form: In Search of Worldliness with Palestinian Refugees in Tyre, Lebanon. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 8 (3): 566–83.

Perdigon, Sylvain. 2017. As’lem, forms of life, uncertain otherwise : A response to Fassin, Wilhem-Solomon and Segatti. Current Anthropology 57 (2): 181-182.

Perdigon, Sylvain. 2015. ‘For us it is otherwise’ : Three sketches on making poverty sensible in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon. Current Anthropology 56 (S11): S88-S96.

Perdigon, Sylvain. 2015. Bleeding dreams: Miscarriage and the bindings of the unborn in the Palestinian refugee community of Tyre, Lebanon. In Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium. Ed. Veena Das and Clara Han. 143-158. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Perdigon, Sylvain. 2015. Ethnography in the times of martyrs: History and pain in current anthropological practice. In Wording the World : Veena Das and Scenes of Inheritance. Ed. Roma Chatterji. 21-37. New York: Fordham University Press.


PhD Johns Hopkins University
MA Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
BA Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm)

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