BiographyDr. Cathrine Thorleifsson holds a PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2012).
Cathrine's doctoral research was based on two-years fieldwork in the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shemona (2007-2009) amongst Mizrahim (Jews decending from Arab and Muslim lands). She used the dynamics at play along the border to develop wider conclusions about the shifting nature of nationalism and identity categories, and the ways in which they are used and understood in practice.
Her postdoctoral project "Nationalist responses to the crisis in Europe: old and new hatreds" examines the rise and character of neo-nationalism in contemporary Europe. Through multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in Norway, England and Hungary amongst the supporters of populist radical right parties, the project explores how various material conditions, socio-cultural contexts and historical events inform xenophobia and intolerance. Her research also explored the multiple and interconnected ways in which anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim racisms are reconfigured.
Cathrine was born in Washington D.C, USA and has lived in Norway, England, Syria and Israel.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Cathrine's chief theoretical interests lie in anthropological approaches to the study of nationalism, migration, borders and xenophobia.
Cathrine has studied Arabic at the University of Damascus (2005) and at Sana'a University of Science and Technology in Yemen as well as Hebrew at the University of Haifa (2007/2008).
As a postdoctoral fellow, Cathrine is affiliated with the ERC-funded research project “Overheating: The Three Crises of Globalisation” led by Thomas Hylland Eriksen and the NFR-funded project “European Strains” led by Karl Ove Moene and Halvor Mehlum at ESOP (the Centre for the study of equality, social organization and performance).
In addition to her academic pursuits, Cathrine has worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Syria (2005) and carried out consultancy work for the World Bank, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission on the impact of Syrian forced displacement on political mobilisation in the Middle East and Europe.