Unni Wikan, PhD

Unni Wikan is professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has done fieldwork in Egypt, Oman, Bali, Bhutan and Scandinavia. Her books include Life Among the Poor in Cairo (1980); Behind the Veil in Arabia: Women in Oman (1982; 1991); Managing Turbulent Hearts: A Balinese Formula for Living (1990); Tomorrow, God Willing: Self-Made Destinies in Cairo (1996); Generous Betrayal: Politics of Culture in the New Europe (2002); and Honor and Agony: Honor Killings in Modern-Day Europe (in press) – the latter five published by the Univ. of Chicago Press. She has also published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and in popular journals and the media.

Wikan has been a visiting professor at Harvard (1999-2000); Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt (2000); London School of Economics (1997); École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (1996); Beersheba University, Israel (1989); visiting scholar at Harvard (1995); guest lecturer at Harvard (1987); and visiting assistant professor at Johns Hopkins (1977).

She has been a consultant to UNICEF and WFP (Bhutan, 1989-1994); UNDP (Yemen, 2004), and the Norwegian Development Organization (Palestine, 1999).

Wikan has conducted research on a variety of topics: poverty, gender, emotion, medical anthropology, development, social justice, welfare, multiculturalism, and most recently on honour-based violence in the new Europe. A specialist on Islam with fluency in Arabic, she is continually engaged in longitudinal studies in the Middle East.

In 2004, Wikan was awarded the Freedom of Expression Award for her ”insightful, open-hearted and challenging contribution to the debate on value conflicts in the multicultural society.”


The 2007 Conference