Anthropologist Eda Pepi is giving a talk on

Reading the State in a Feminist Way

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 6:30 PM








Fulbright research on Feminism in Jordan


Reading the State in a Feminist Way: The Global Politics of Reproductive Borderwork in Jordan


This talk on gendered citizenship in Jordan examines a specific iteration of what is ultimately a global movement, from India to the Dominican Republic and the US, to restrict citizenship by intervening into family life. With territorial borders becoming less manageable and their policing increasingly performative, Jordan—the world’s sixth-largest refugee host—polices its borders by regulating mixed-nationality marriages. The state tasks women with “reproductive borderwork,” prohibiting them (unlike Jordanian men) from bestowing citizenship on children from foreign spouses. I theorize “reproductive borderwork” to explain how states govern their populations when they are unable or unwilling to effectively police their territorial borders. Methodologically, it is a feminist anthropological practice of reading across cultural domains (kinship, economy, nation, religion) in “prohibited ways,” underscoring how political and economic problems around the world are increasingly managed through families.

Venue: Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

New Conference Hall, North Wing, Floor 2 

Start: 6:30 PM

The event is organized by Fulbright Bulgaria, Yale Club of Bulgaria and is kindly hosted by Sofia University.

About Eda Pepi

Eda Pepi is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research spans the Middle East, North and West Africa, and Southern Europe. She serves as an Assistant Professor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, where she also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Anthropology and is a core faculty member in Modern Middle East Studies. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of feminist studies, political anthropology, and the anthropology of kinship.

Dr. Pepi is currently finalizing her first book, Marital States: The Reproductive Politics of UnCitizenship in Jordan. She has also initiated two new projects: “Grounds for Divorce: Gender and Transnational Kinship in Western Sahara” and “The Colonial Origins of Welfare States: Settler Kinship and Hardship Compensation in the Canary Islands.” These projects delve into the cultural and historical dynamics that shape the interplay between gender and kinship, race and citizenship, and political economy and state formation across the Mediterranean. Dr. Pepi earned her PhD from Stanford University’s Department of Anthropology.

In cooperation with Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski’s Center for the Study of Religions, Department of Cultural Studies, MATILDA MA Program and the Yale Club of Bulgaria. 

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