Scholars Profile for John PR Schaefer

John PR Schaefer

Dr. John PR Schaefer

Assistant Professor

Levey Hall 219, 4200 N. University Blvd., Middletown, OH 45042

Phone: +1 513 727 3204

Scholarly Interests:
See my CV here. []

I am an anthropological folklorist by training. I was born in Ghana, West Africa, and I spent my formative years there, leaving in 1991 at the age of 16. In college I majored in English. I studied abroad in the Czech Republic in 1995. In the late 1990s I spent two summers learning Arabic in Lebanon and visiting Syria and Jordan. I received an MA in anthropology from the University of Arkansas in 2000, having researched and written a thesis on Lebanese in Ghana.

For the PhD in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, I switched from Lebanon/Ghana to Morocco. I studied Moroccan Arabic for two summers in Fes and traveled around the country. I spent a lot of time in the breezy Atlantic tourist town of Essaouira, where I have attended the annual Festival of Gnawa and World Music four times so far. The Gnawa are a loosely affiliated order of lay spiritual healers and musicians concentrated in southern Morocco and descended from West Africans enslaved and brought across the Sahara Desert. Their music sounds like West African roots music, and their healing rituals involve spirit possession and trance dancing. I spent most of 2006 in the industrial city of Tangier, northern Morocco, learning from a Gnawa troupe there.

I taught courses in English composition at Ashland University and in anthropology at the College of Wooster for a couple of years. Then I taught full time for one year each at Hartwick College (NY) and Wake Forest University (NC). After completing my dissertation in 2009 I taught for three years at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. The first half of my time there Egypt was under the rule of Hosni Mubarak, and the last half under military rule following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

At Miami I teach courses in anthropology, ethnography, and Middle East and African studies. I am a faculty affiliate in Black World Studies.

Teaching and research interests:
Performance Studies
Technology and Society
Critical Theory
Black Identities of North Africa
Middle East and North Africa
West Africa

Recent Publications
2014 World Systems Theory and the Hunger Games. On Teaching Series, Blog of the American Studies Journal.
2012 Protest Song Marocaine. Middle East Report 263:20-32. [Pay wall]
2012 Review, Girls of the Factory: A Year with the Garment Workers of Morocco (M. Laetitia Cairoli). Journal of Anthropological Research 68(1): 134-136.
2011 Review, The Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara and Oxfam Arabia (music albums). Ethnomusicology 55(3):528-531. [pay wall]
2009 Moroccan Modern: Race, Aesthetics, and Identity in a Global Cultural Market. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. [Link to]
2009 Review, Stitching Identities in a Free Trade Zone: Gender and Politics in Sri Lanka (Sandya Hewamanne). Journal of Third World Studies XXVI(2):279-281.
2006 Discussion Lists and Public Policy on iGhana: Chimps and Feral Activists. In Kyra Lanzelius (ed.), Native on the Net: Indigenous and Diasporic Peoples in the Virtual Age. London: Routledge. Pp. 202-219.
2005 Rhythms of Power: Interaction in Musical Performance. Texas Linguistic Forum 48:167-176.