Dr Frederick Wojnarowski

Dr Frederick Wojnarowski

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department of Anthropology

Room No
Key Expertise
The Middle East, Jordan

About me


Fred is interested in the political and economic anthropology and history of the Middle East, especially Jordan, as well as broader questions of social change and socio-political categorisation.  Before commencing his current British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the LSE in September 2022, he completed his PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2021. He initially studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and later Anthropology and Development at SOAS. He has also worked as a school history teacher and in public policy.

His research at the LSE, mentored by Yazan Doughan, examines the intersection of discourses of water scarcity, environmental justice and corruption in rural Jordan. It traces the everyday hydropolitics of distributing, stealing and contesting water in a setting widely recognised as one of the most water-poor in the world, exploring the social life of water, its infrastructure, and its contested flows, as they variously reproduce, reveal and erode relations between different types of imagined community at different scales.

Fred primarily conducts fieldwork in and around Madaba in central Jordan. His dissertation, entitled ‘Unsettling Times: land, political economy and protest in the Bedouin villages of Central Jordan’, is a study of Bedouin identity and politics in a time of mass-migration, economic uncertainty and unrest. It focuses ethnographically on the experiences of young Bedouin people in rural areas south of the capital, struggling to find a social and economic niche, and in many cases taking part in new forms of rural protest movements, articulating disquiet in the face of various imagined social, political and economic futures. It also explores, at a larger level, the role of colonial and post-colonial nation-building, regimes of land ownership, bureaucracy and nationalised culture in reproducing categories of Bedouin and tribe  in Jordan.   

Expertise Details

Corruption; Environmental Justice; Water Scarcity; Political Economy; Protest; History; Colonialism; Empire; Non-state Politics; Land Settlement.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles 

2023. Settling land, unsettling people: living with and contesting land, social change and grand schemes in rural central Jordan. History and Anthropology.https://doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2023.2220342 

2021. The Ghosts at the Feast: Contested Land, Settlement, and Identity in the Jordanian BāDīya. Nomadic Peoples25(1), pp.36-58. https://doi.org/10.3197/np.2021.250103

With Jennifer Williams., 2020. Making mansaf: the interplay of identity and political economy in Jordan's ‘national dish’. Contemporary Levant5(2), pp.161-177. https://doi.org/10.1080/20581831.2020.1767325

Blog Writing 

2021. Reflecting on a ‘wilderness of mirrors’: partial connections and the afterlife of fieldwork in Jordan. Council for British Research in the Levant Research Blog.  https://cbrl.ac.uk/research-blog/reflecting-on-a-wilderness-of-mirrors/