My dissertation, Transnational Politics of Christian Persecution, examines how representations of Christian persecution in the Middle East are intertwined in the transnational politics of religion. By the transnational politics of religion, I mean both the domestic polarization of religious freedom as a strategic tool to advance a conservative political agenda, as well as the global politics of the war on terror that has positioned religious minorities in a bind between counterterrorism and authoritarianism. Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork between the Middle East and Washington, DC, I examine how incidents of violence against Christians are not just made meaningful among Copts in Egypt, but have also resonated transnationally,
Miray Philips is a PhD Candidate at the University of Minnesota.
I am a sociologist of religion, politics, and culture with a regional focus on the Middle East and the United States. My research on the transnational meaning, memory, and politics of violence at the intersection of religion and rights has been published in the American Journal of Cultural Sociology and the Minneapolis Journal of International Law. This research has been generously supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Global Religion Research Initiative, and the UMN Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, among others. I have an MA in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a BS in both Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan. I was born in Egypt, raised in Kuwait, and currently live between Minnesota and Washington, DC.