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Misha Klein

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Misha Klein

Head Shot of Dr. Misha Klein, Associate Professor in the University of Oklahoma's Department of Anthropology

Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of California-Berkeley, 2002

Office: Dale Hall Tower 505B

Research Interests

  • Ethnicity, Race, and Identity
  • Transnationalism & Diaspora
  • Urban Anthropology
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Brazil
  • Latin America
  • Jewish Diaspora
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Work
  • Anthropology of Food
  • Applied Anthropology
  • Qualitative Methods


Dr. Misha Klein is Associate Professor of Anthropology, a core affiliate in Women’s and Gender Studies, and an affiliate in the Departments of Judaic Studies and International and Area Studies (Latin American Studies/Brazil). She is the Chair of the Clyde Snow Social Justice Award Committee, sponsored by OU’s Center for Social Justice, a recipient of the 2019 Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Award, and the 2022 Robert D. Lemon Social Justice Faculty Award. She also received the 2021 Regents' Award for Superior Teaching.

Her monograph, Kosher Feijoada and Other Paradoxes of Jewish Life in São Paulo, explores the intersecting meanings of race, class, and belonging for the transnational and multicultural Jewish population in Brazil. Other publications include, “Privileges of the First World: Reflections on Another Life in Brazil” in the volume Detours: Travel and the Ethics of Research in the Global South, and an essay in the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Jewish Cultures on anthropological contributions to Jewish Studies, both historical and through the “new Jewish ethnography.”

Her current research is an interdisciplinary collaboration with historian Michel Gherman (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) that considers the changing concept of race in Brazil; the circulation of transnational discourses on race, Israel, Zionism, and anti-Semitism; the shifting political landscape in Brazil, including the rise of the evangelical right-wing; the reverberations among leftist activists; and the impact of all of this on Jewish identity and political participation in Brazil. Recent and forthcoming results from this project are published in both English and Portuguese.


Recent/Signifcant Publications

Klein, Misha and Michel Gherman, 2021. “From Beacon to Siren: The Transformation of Brazil from Racial Utopia to Racist/Antisemitic Dystopia.”  Revista Videre (Brazil) 13(28): 65-88.

Gherman, Michel and Misha Klein. 2021. “Aquela Noite: o lugar da Israel imaginária na nova direita brasileira.” Revista Anthropológicas, ano 25, 32(2): 111-140.

Klein, Misha. 2021. “Ruth Behar,” Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, Jewish Women’s Archive:

Klein, Misha. 2019. “Privileges of the First World: Reflections on Another Life in Brazil,” in Detours: Travel and the Ethics of Research in the Global South, M. Bianet Castellanos, ed. Pp. 21-51. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Gherman, Michel and Misha Klein. 2019. “Entre ‘conversos’ e ‘desconversos’: O caso da influência da Nova Direita Brasileira sobre a comunidade judaica do Rio de Janeiro.” Estudios Sociales del Estado (Argentina) 5(9): 101-123.

Klein, Misha. 2014. “Teaching about Jewishness in the Heartland.” Special issue of Shofar, edited by Alan Levinson, 32(4): 89-104.

Klein, Misha. 2014. “Anthropology,” in The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Jewish Cultures, Laurence Roth and Nadia Valman, eds. Pp. 17-34. London: Routledge.

Klein, Misha, Douglas Vanderbilt, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. 2014. “PTSD and Breastfeeding: Let It Flow.” ICAN: Infant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition 20(10): 211-215.

Klein, Misha. 2012. Kosher Feijoada and Other Paradoxes of Jewish Life in São Paulo.  University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Klein, Misha. 2010. “Brazil” lemma for the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Norman A. Stillman, Editor. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, vol. 1: 494-498.

Klein, Misha. 2004. “‘Afro-Ashkenazim’ e Outras Experiências com Identidade,” In Experiência Cultural Judaica no Brasil: Recepção, Inclusão e Ambivalência, Monica Grin and Nelson Vieira, eds., Rio de Janeiro: Editora Topbooks, pp. 249-271.

Courses Taught

  • ANTH 2203 Global Cultural Diversity (formerly, Peoples of the World)
  • ANTH 2243 Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 4073 Anthropology of Jews and Jewishness
  • ANTH 4113 Capstone (for graduating seniors in Anthropology)
  • ANTH 4623 Anthropology of Globalization
  • ANTH 4633 Cultures of Latin America
  • ANTH 4843/5843 Cross-Cultural Study of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
  • ANTH 4953/5970 Brazil Beyond Black and White
  • ANTH 5123 Contemporary Cultural Theory
  • ANTH 5223 Foundations of Social Theory
  • ANTH 5273 Ethnographic Writing
  • ANTH 5693 Thesis and Dissertation Writing
  • ANTH 5803 Theories of Identity
  • HON 3993 Music and Medicine Across Cultures
  • IAS 3000 Another America: Lessons from Brazil
  • IAS 3353 "Modern" Brazil