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Principal Associates:

Nigel J. R. Allan is Professor Emeritus of Geography in the Social Sciences Program at the University of California, Davis. Since 1971 he has taught at the University of Wyoming, SUNY, and Louisiana State University in addition to UC Davis. He is a former member of the executive committee of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies and currently serves in the Kashmir Study Group. Allan went to Afghanistan with a National Defense Education Title VI Foreign Area fellowship in 1969. His field research survey focused on 410 villages in Kabul Kohestan occupied by four ethnic groups and 15 Pashtun tribes. This meso-level field research technique remains today the only robust study done on ethnic and tribal groups in Afghanistan. Since that time aided by academic field research grants from the National Geographic Society Committee on Research and Exploration, Smithsonian, CAORC, AIIS, AIPS, AIAS, he has focused on the integration of mountain societies into plains cultures, specifically in the western end of the Hindukush-Himalaya mountain rimland of South Asia. A cultural geographer, his publications on Afghanistan and Pakistan, here, focus on development, accessibility in mountains, land use, ethnic geoecology, deforestation, geopolitics, and the cultural landscape. His current interests include the human biodiversity of ethnic groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, even into India.

Thomas J. Barfield is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilization at Boston University. He is also President of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies. Barfield conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork among nomads in northern Afghanistan in the mid 1970s as well as shorter periods of research in Xinjiang, China, and post-Soviet Uzbekistan. Since 2001 his research has focused on problems reconstruction and political development in contemporary Afghanistan, particularly on questions of customary law and its role in conflict resolution. Barfield received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 to complete the writing of his new book Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History (Princeton, April 2010). Click here to see his publications.

Lincoln Keiser is Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at Wesleyan University, where he taught from 1969 to 2009. His teaching and research specialty is local-level politics and social organization in the Frontier region of Afghanistan/Pakistan. He conducted ethnographic survey research among Pashai speakers in the Ishpi valley, Tagao district, Laghman, the Darra-i-Nur valley, the Aret valley, and Korangal. He was one of the first Westerners to visit Korangal. His research in Afghanistan focused on violence and social control in Oigal, a Pashai-speaking village located in upper Darra-i-Nur.

Professor Keiser also conducted field research focusing on blood feuding in Thull, a Kohistani-speaking village in the Panjkora valley, Upper Dir District, Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan, and Shanku, a Torwali-speaking village in the Bishegram valley, Swat District, Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan.

In addition to his research in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Professor Keiser has conducted field research among the Vice Lords, an African/American street gang in Chicago. He has received an N.D.E.A. Research Grant, an N.I.H. Research Grant, a Smithsonian Research Development Grant, and a Smithsonian Institution Research Grant in support of his research.

See his bibliography for a list of papers, lectures and publications.

Richard F. Strand has researched and written on the languages and societies of Afghanistan's Nuristân region and adjacent areas since his initial doctoral research on the language of the Kom Nuristanis from 1967-69. His knowledge of that language and others of the region has provided him with a rare inside view of tribal life and politics in eastern Afghanistan and adjacent Pakistan. His extensive linguistic and ethnographic field research in the region was funded by grants from the Fulbright Foundation (1991-92), the Smithsonian Institution (1980, 1984-85), the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (1972), Brown University (1971), Cornell University (1966-69, 1970), and Teachers College, Columbia University (1967-69). From 2002-2005 Strand served as director of a major agricultural NGO in Afghanistan's Nangarhâr Province. His publications are listed here.

E-mail an Associate:

N. Allan

T. Barfield

L. Keiser

R. Strand