Campus Box 1114
One Brookings Drive
St Louis, MO 63130-4899
I conduct anthropological field research among Qashqa'i nomadic pastoralists in Iran, and I combine the results of this research with my on-going historical study of the Qashqa'i tribal confederacy as it emerged and has changed during the past two centuries. In addition to using archival sources, I especially rely on my collection of oral histories from Qashqa'i people in Iran and in exile in Europe and the United States. As part of my research in Europe in the past seven summers, I have interviewed members of the Qashqa'i tribal elite in exile. We discuss Qashqa'i history and especially the participation of these elite in the rapidly changing political climate in Iran. In 1995, 1996, and 1997 I continued my research in Iran among Qashqa'i nomadic pastoralists in their winter and summer pastures. I am currently revising a previously published book on Qashqa'i history and am writing several new books, one on tribal politics and another on the strategies of nomads in the postrevolutionary period. Partly because only several Americans have been allowed to conduct research in Iran since the revolution in 1979, I also write about changes in Iranian society in general, particularly the rural sector and the role of women in the Islamic Republic.
The research foci of students whom I assist include: Islam and politics, ecological adaptations among nomads and settlers in eastern Iran, and the implications of the introduction of formal education for Qashqa'i nomads. The graduate student who recently conducted research in Iran on formal education was funded by research grants from NSF, the Social Science Research Council, and Sigma Xi.
I am part of the Center for the Study Islamic Societies and Civilizations, a diverse group of people in many disciplines.
My courses include political anthropology, social change, Islam and politics, peoples and cultures of the Middle East, ethnicity and religion in the Muslim world, and the anthropology of gender. In my favorite course, writing culture, students do short-term ethnographic research projects in St. Louis and experiment with different ways of writing about their observations.
Beck, Lois and Guity Nashat, eds.
2004 Women in Iran from 1800 to the Islamic Republic. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
2000 Local Histories: A Longitudinal Study of a Qashqa'i Subtribe in Iran. In Iran and Beyond: Essays in Middle Eastern History in Honor of Nikki R. Keddie, Rudi Matthee and Beth Baron, eds. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers. Pp. 262-288.
1998 Use of Land by Nomadic Pastoralists in Iran, 1970-1998. In Bulletin of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies 103: 58-80.
1993 Rostam: Qashqa'i Rebel. In Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East. Edmund Burke, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.
1991 Nomad: A Year in the Life of a Qashqa'i Tribesman in Iran. Berkeley: University of California Press; London: I. B. Tauris.
1990 Tribes and the State in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century Iran. In Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East. Philip Khoury and J. Kostiner, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press.
1986 The Qashqa'i of Iran. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Beck, Lois and Nikki Keddie, eds.
1978 Women in the Muslim World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Women and Islam (L48 3313)
Ethnicity, Religion, and Change in the Muslim World (L48 404)
Political Anthropology (L48 405)
Islam and Politics (L48 4041)
Writing Culture (L48 4481)