Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Columbia University

My work examines unauthorized migration, criminal justice, the aftermath of development, and transnational political imaginaries in the central and eastern Mediterranean. My forthcoming monograph, The Mediterranean Incarnate: Transnational Region Formation between Sicily and Tunisia since World War II, offers a historical anthropology of the recent re-emergence of the Mediterranean. I am specifically interested in the processes through which transnational regions form and dissipate. I propose to view such spaces as ever-changing constellations, and I propose to study them from the moving vessels that weave these constellations together and stage their social relations and dynamics in full view.

My new project follows anti-Mafia investigators and the perpetual debate about what the Mafia is. I examine how the debate positions investigators’ anthropological imagination at the heart of the struggle over the relationship between the state and society in Sicily. By studying how doubt, suspicion and surprise shape the performance of legal certainty, I examine the dynamics that shape the meaning and the reach of law, politics and knowledge.