Karen Barkey Named New Co-Director of BCSR

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to announce that Karen Barkey has joined David Marno as Co-director for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. Karen succeeds Co-founder Jonathan Sheehan, whose leadership has been pivotal in establishing BCSR and ensuring the success of the $1M grant in Public Theology from the Henry Luce Foundation, now in its final year. Jonathan will continue to serve on BCSR’s advisory board as the unit furthers its initiatives and expands its presence on the Berkeley campus.

Karen Barkey is the Haas Distinguished Chair of Religious Diversity and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She also is the director of the Center for Democracy, Toleration and Religion (CDTR), located at Matrix Social Science, UC Berkeley.

Karen has written and edited books which have won awards and were translated into Greek and Turkish. Her first book, Bandits and Bureaucrats was awarded the Allan Sharlin Memorial Award in Social Science History, and her second book, Empire of Difference (Cambridge UP, 2008), was awarded the 2009 Barrington Moore Award from the American Sociology Association and the 2009 J. David Greenstone Book Prize from the Political Science Association. She has also edited After Empire: Multiethnic Societies and Nation-Building (with Mark Von Hagen). Another edited book, Choreography of Sacred Spaces: State, Religion and Conflict Resolution (with Elazar Barkan), explores the history of shared religious spaces in the Balkans, Anatolia and Palestine/Israel, all three regions once under Ottoman rule. For more on her work, see her website: karenbarkey.com

Karen is one of the curators of the traveling Shared Sacred Sites exhibition. She has worked on the exhibition in the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Photography and the Yeni Cami in Thessaloniki (2017) and the New York exhibition at the NYPL, Morgan Library and Museum and CUNY Graduate Center (2018). She also runs a website on this topic which brings international participants and expertise on many shared sites around the world. She started this project to promote awareness and understanding of coexistence among religions. You can see more on the site: sharedsacredsites.net