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Darryl Li, Anthropology and Law, The University of Chicago

  • When: April 14, 2021, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where:

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Photo and bio courtesy of the University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology.

Darryl Li is an anthropologist and attorney working at the intersection of war, law, migration, empire, and race with a focus on transregional linkages between the Middle East, South Asia, and the Balkans.

Li is the author of The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford University Press, 2020), which develops an ethnographic approach to the comparative study of universalism using the example of transnational "jihadists" -- specifically, Arabs and other foreigners who fought in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted in Bosnia and a half-dozen other countries, the monograph situates transnational jihads in relation to more powerful universalisms, including socialist Non-Alignment, United Nations peacekeeping, and the U.S.-led "Global War on Terror." He is at work on a second project on migrant military labor (frequently called "mercenaries" or "military contractors") across the Indian Ocean.

Li has participated in litigation arising from the "War on Terror" as party counsel, amicus, or expert witness, including in Guantánamo habeas, Alien Tort, material support, denaturalization, immigration detention, and asylum proceedings. He is a member of the New York and Illinois bars.

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