Dr Konstantina Isidoros

Konstantina Isidoros


Research Affiliate

Keywords: Sahara Desert and MENA region; nomadic pastoralism; economic and political anthropology; Islam; gender/feminist anthropology; anthropology of development, refugee theory and international law; evolutionary anthropology and Holocene climate variability; Sahara archaeology, human-landscape interaction.

Research and Teaching Interests

I am a social anthropologist of the Sahara Desert in North Africa and hold a DPhil and MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. My principle research interest is in the specialised human endeavour of occupation, migration, survival and adaptation in arid zones. Funded by the Royal Anthropological Institute and Royal Geographical Society, my ethnographic fieldwork has followed nomadic flows through the western desert territories of Algeria, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Mali and Morocco since 2006. This doctoral research among the Hassaniya-speaking desert dwellers of western Sahara studied female political architecture of tents and milk kinship. My research continues to explore the rich ethnographic insights of North Africa, such as desert Islam, the ritualised flows of nomadic women around the tombs of Saharan saints and Sufis, and Saharan soundscapes. Collaborative projects include an interdisciplinary study of hybrid urban settings and the application of ethnographic data to climate change science, as well as developing further interests in evolutionary anthropology on matriliny and milk kinship. I am a member of the International Gender Studies Centre (IGS) at Oxford and since 2012 have been teaching anthropology to undergraduates and visiting students reading for degrees in Human Sciences and Archaeology & Anthropology..

Awards and Funding

Royal Geographical Society Frederick Soddy Trust Postgraduate Award, Royal Anthropological Institute Emslie Horniman Anthropological Scholarship Fund, All Souls College E.O. James Bequest 

2017 Wenner-Gren Foundation Workshop Award ‘Arab Masculinities: Anthropological Reconceptions’ 


Isidoros, K. (Forthcoming Monograph 2017) Nomads and Nation Building in the Western Sahara: Women, Politics and the Sahrāwī. London: I.B. Tauris.

Isidoros, K.  (Forthcoming 2017) ‘Replenishing milk sons: Changing kinship practices among the Sahrāwī, North Africa.’ Journal of the Anthropology of Middle East (AME).

Isidoros, K. (Forthcoming 2017) ‘Arab Masculinities: Anthropological Reconceptions: Report on the Wenner-Gren Foundation Workshop at the University of Oxford, March 2017.’ Journal of the Anthropology of Middle East (AME).

Isidoros, K. 2016 ‘Unveiling the colonial gaze: Sahrāwī women in nascent nation-state formation in the Western Sahara.’ Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies Vol. 19, Iss. 4: 487-506.

Isidoros, K. 2016 ‘The view from Tindouf: Western Saharan women and the calculation of autochthony.’ In The Western Sahara Conflict: International, Regional and Local Crossroads by R.O. García, V. Veguilla del Moral, I. Fernández Molina. Palgrave Macmillan.

Isidoros, K. 2015. ‘The silencing of unifying tribes: The colonial construction of tribe and its ‘extraordinary leap’ to nascent nation-state formation in Western Sahara.’ Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford. New Series (VII: 2).

Isidoros, K. 2015. ‘Between Purity and Danger: Fieldwork approaches to movement, protection and legitimacy for a female ethnographer in the Sahara Desert’. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford. New Series (VII: 1): Special Issue on Sexual Danger in the Field.

Lakhal, M. and Isidoros, K. (eds.) 2013. Second Special Issue: Western Sahara – Africa's Last Colony Revisited. Pambazuka-Fahamu Online Issue 618.

Isidoros, K. 2012. ‘Awakening Protests in Morocco and Western Sahara.’ In: Ekine, S. and Manji, F. (eds.) African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions. Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford: Pambazuka Press.

Isidoros, K. 2010. ‘Western Sahara and the United States’ Geographical Imaginings.’ In Mundy, J. (ed). US Militarization of the Sahara-Sahel: Security, Space & Imperialism. Journal of Concerned African Scholars. ACAS Bulletin 85.

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