Professor and Chair (Fall 2016)
Office: 232 Bay State Road, #103C
Office Phone: 617-353-5028
Fall Office Hours: By appointment
Dr. Thomas Barfield’s current research focuses on problems of political development in Afghanistan, particularly on systems of local governance and dispute resolution. He has also published extensively on contemporary and historic nomadic pastoral societies in Eurasia with a particular emphasis on politics and economy.
Dr. Barfield conducted ethnographic fieldwork in northern Afghanistan in the mid-1970s as well as shorter periods of research in Xinjiang, China, and post-Soviet Uzbekistan. He is author of The Central Asian Arabs of Afghanistan (1981), The Perilous Frontier: Nomadic Empires and China (1989), and The Nomadic Alternative (1993), co-author of Afghanistan: An Atlas of Indigenous Domestic Architecture (1991), and editor of Blackwell’s Dictionary of Anthropology (1997). Barfield received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 that led to the publication of his newest book, Afghanistan: A Political and Cultural History (2010).
He is also director of Boston University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilization and currently serves as president of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies.
- AN 360/760 Nomads
- AN 596 Anthropology and History
- AN 347/747 Afghanistan
PhD Harvard University MA Harvard University BA University of Pennsylvania