skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology



I am interested in the political and economic anthropology of Jordan and the Arabic-speaking Middle East. My doctoral research, based on 13 months of fieldwork, focuses on the experiences and everyday politics of young people in rural and peri-urban villages in Central Jordan. Though now-permanently settled this setting and its inhabitants are discursively still  Bedouin. This area has come to national attention as the place of origin for a number of popular labour and protest movements. I also attend to longer histories of social change, political sovereignty, land registration and settlement, state encompassment, colonialism, and dispute resolution, both ethnographically and through archival research. I previously studied anthropology at Oxford (BA Archaeology and Anthropology 2011) and SOAS (MA Social Anthropology and Development 2012), before going on to work in various development and public policy roles before returning to research. I first conducted fieldwork in Jordan in 2012 during my Masters, looking at the consequences of a state-led sedenterisation projects in Southern Jordan. 

My PhD is funded by a Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship from the Cambridge Trust.  My fieldwork was funded by the University Fieldwork Fund and the Richard’s Fund and facilitated by the CBRL’s British Institute in Amman who awarded me a language-learning scholarship in collaboration with the Qasid Arabic Institute, accommodation and considerable help and advice in establishing contacts and a viable research agenda. I was also  a Research Affiliate at the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies. 


Nomadism, oral history, nationalism, colonial history, political ecology, the anthropology of history and colonial archives, international development.


Key publications: 

Fred was awarded the IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples Best Student Essay Prize 2020 for his  article 'The ghosts at the feast: contested settlement, land rights, and identity in the Jordanian Badiya’, published in the upcoming issue of Nomadic Peoples 25.1 (2021)

Wojnarowski, F. and Williams, J., 2020. Making mansaf: the interplay of identity and political economy in Jordan's ‘national dish’. Contemporary Levant, pp.1-17.

Research Title - Unsettling Times: land, political economy and protest in the Bedouin villages of Central Jordan
Supervisor - Professor David Sneath
 Frederick  Wojnarowski (2016)

Contact Details

Email address: 


Department Group: