Kimberly Arkin

Faculty Profiles

Kimberly Arkin

Assistant Professor

arkinOffice: 232 Bay State Road, #103A
Office Phone: 617-353-5016

Fall Office Hours:


Dr. Arkin is a cultural anthropologist broadly interested in the production and contestation of national, religious, racial, and gendered identities in France and Western Europe more generally.  Her first book, Rhinestones, Religion, and the Republic: Fashioning Jewishness in France, explores the racialization of Jewishness among second and third generation North African Jewish adolescents, arguing that it is both a mode of asserting relative Frenchness and a major barrier to feeling “at home” in France.  She is beginning a new project on the (in)commensuration of Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim bodies and practices in in contemporary France.  Entitled Wigs, Headscarves, and Habits: (in)commensurating religious bodies and producing “secular” France.   This project will explore the construction of French national identity by looking at its supposed margins—the religious organizations and groups hard at work configuring the boundaries between themselves and an imagined “French public.”

View Professor Arkin’s Website


  • AN 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • AN 461/761 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory I
  • AN 316/716 Contemporary European Ethnography (area)
  • AN 355/755 Religious Fundamentalism in an Anthropological Perspective
  • AN 252 Ethnicity and Identity


In Press      “The Vanishing State: Religious Education and Intolerance in French Jewish Schools.”  In Living Together with Difference.  Seligman, Adam, ed.  Oxford University Press.

2014    Rhinestones, Religion, and the Republic: Fashioning Jewishness in France.  Stanford: Stanford University Press.

2011    “Laïcité, Fraternité, and Nationalité: discontinuities in French Jewish discourse.”  AJS Perspectives, Spring

2009    “Rhinestone Aesthetics and Religious Essence: Looking Jewish in Paris.” American Ethnologist 36(4): 722-734



PhD University of Chicago
MA University of Chicago
BA Harvard University