Tambar, Kabir

Photo of Kabir Tambar
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2009

Kabir Tambar is a sociocultural anthropologist, working at the intersections of political anthropology and the anthropology of religion. He is broadly interested in the politics of history, performances of public criticism, and varieties of Islamic practice in Turkey.

Tambar’s first book is a study of the politics of pluralism in contemporary Turkey, focusing on the ways that Alevi religious history is staged for public display. More generally, the book investigates how secular states govern religious differences through practices of cultural and aesthetic regulation. Tambar is currently working on a new project, Martial Democracy, that examines the past and present of emergency rule in Turkey.

Selected Publications: 

2014 The Reckoning of Pluralism: Political Belonging and the Demands of History in Turkey. Stanford University Press.

2013 Historical Critique and Political Voice after the Ottoman Empire. History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History 3 (2): 119-139. Read PDF.

2012 Islamic Reflexivity and the Uncritical Subject. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18 (3): 652-672. Read PDF.

2011 Iterations of Lament: Anachronism and Affect in a Shi‘i Islamic Revival in Turkey. American Ethnologist 38 (3): 484-500. Read PDF.

2010 The Aesthetics of Public Visibility: Alevi Semah and the Paradoxes of Pluralism in Turkey. Comparative Studies in Society and History 52 (3): 652-679. Read PDF.

2009 Secular Populism and the Semiotics of the Crowd in Turkey. Public Culture 21 (3): 517-537. Read PDF.