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Staff Profile

Dr A. Maria A. Kastrinou, BA, PhD

DEI/Anthropology Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology
Early Career Fellow, Durham Energy Institute

Contact Dr A. Maria A. Kastrinou (email at

Research Interests

My research is anchored in political anthropology and Middle Eastern studies, and I am specifically interested in the anthropology of the state, power and politics, minorities and sectarianism, and the body as a field of struggle. For my PhD, Intimate bodies, violent struggles: The poetics and politics of nuptiality in Syria, I conducted extended ethnographic fieldwork in Syria looking at the formation and dynamics of power relations within and between the Druze religious community, the state, and middle-class intellectuals. This research informs and enriches my on-going anthropological engagement in the region: the location and analysis of those contentious public arenas in which local religious communities, authoritarian state policies, and agents of neo-liberal globalisation converge and collide; thus working toward a grounded empirical depiction of contemporary social and political struggles in Syria and the wider area.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Durham Global Security Institute

  • Contextualising Conflict

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of the state
  • Art and dance
  • Marriage and ritual
  • Minorities and sectarianism
  • Power and politics
  • The body
  • Middle East and Syria
  • Druze and Islam

Teaching Areas

  • Cultures and Clasifications (level 2)
  • Current Issues in Socio-Cultural Anthropology (level 3)
  • People and Cultures (level 1)
  • Ways of Life (level 1)

Selected Publications

Articles: magazine

  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, Maria (2011). The marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and the burial of the martyrs: Syrian dances in the Arab spring. Jadaliyya (June 6).

Journal papers: academic

  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. (2012). A Different Struggle for Syria: Becoming Young in the Middle East. Mediterranean Politics 17(1): 59-76.
  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. A. (2010). The theatre of the not-so obscure: cooking as unfolding. ELiSS 3(2): 18-23.
  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. A. (2009). Editorial Note: Political anthropology and the fabrics of resistance. Durham Anthropology Journal 16(2): 3-7.
  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. A. (2009). Setting the Syrian stage: Dance between pleasure and power. Durham Anthropology Journal 16(1): 3-12.
  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. A. (2008). The Gift of the Code: the culture of an operating system. Durham Anthropology Journal 15(1): 106-164.

Books: reviews

  • Kastrinou, A. M. (2013). Printed Media and Popular Culture: Studies in Contemporary Folklore. Folklore 124(1): 108.
  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. A. (2011). George I. Thanopoulos, Nikos Gatsos and the Greek Folk Tradition: A hermeneutic study. (Athens: Graphopress, 2009). Folklore 122(2): 218-220.
  • Kastrinou Theodoropoulou, A. M. A. (2009). Lawrence, Christopher M. 2007. Blood and Oranges: Immigrant Labor and European Markets in Rural Greece. Oxford: Berghahn Books. Durham Anthropology Journal (1742-2930): 76-77.

Theses: PhD

  • Kastrinou, A. Maria A. (2012). Intimate Bodies, Violent Struggles: The poetics and politics of nuptiality in Syria. PhD.

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Identity, ethnicity and culture:
  • Middle East:
  • Conflict and resolution: