Ohio University

Smoki Musaraj

Smoki Musaraj Profile Picture
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Bentley Annex 155

Recent News


Ph.D., New School for Social Research, 2012

Research & Expertise

  • Economic Anthropology
  • Theories of Money and Value
  • Informal Economies
  • Anthropology of Corruption
  • Socialism and Postsocialism
  • Southeast Europe
  • Albania

Tales from Albarado: Pyramid Firms, Value and Social Transformation in Postsocialist Albania

Smoki Musaraj is a cultural anthropologist with a specialization in economic and legal anthropology. Her research focusses on the anthropology of money and value; informal economies; speculative bubbles; anthropology of corruption; postsocialist transformations; and societies of South Europe and the Mediterranean. Her book entitled, Tales from Albarado: Pyramid Firms, Value and Social Transformation in Postsocialist Albania, is under contract with Cornell University Press.

Courses Taught

  • ANTH 1010: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Anth 3270 Anthropology of Bubbles, Crises, and Crashes
  • ANTH 3500/5500: Economic Anthropology
  • ANTH 3820: Cultures of the Mediterranean
  • ANTH 4841/5941: Seminar in Cultural Anthropology: Situating Global Capitalism
  • T3 4400 (co-taught): Seminar in Wealth and Poverty

Awards & Grants

Baker Fund Award, Ohio University (2019)

First Book Subvention Award, Association for East European, Eurasia, and Slavic Studies (ASEEES) (2019)

Distinguished Mentor Award, Honor Tutorial College (2017)

Ohio University Research Committee Award, Ohio University

Stanley Diamond Dissertation Award, The New School

International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation

Dissertation Fellowship, Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Canada

Selected Publications

Musaraj, Smoki. 2019. “The Magic of Pyramid Firms: Political Cosmologies, Credibility and Collapsed Finance” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. 84(2): 179-200.

Musaraj, Smoki. 2018 “Corruption, Right On! Hidden Cameras, Satire and Intimacies of Anti-corruption.” Current Anthropology. 59 (S18): S105-S116

Maurer, Bill, Smoki Musaraj, and Ivan Small. Editors. 2018. Money at the Margins: Global Perspectives on Technology, Inclusion and Design. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books. (The Human Economy Series, Eds. Keith Hart and John Sharp).

Musaraj, Smoki and Ivan Small. 2018. "Introduction: Money and Finance at the Margins.: In Money at the Margins: Global Perspectives on Technology, Inclusion and Design. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books. pp. 1-18.

Musaraj, Smoki. 2018. “Corruption Indicators in the Local Legal/Political Landscape: Reflections from Albania. In The Palgrave Handbook of Indicators in Global Governance by Indicators. Eds. Deborah Valentina Malito, Gaby Umbach, and Nehal Bhuta. Palgrave Macmillan.

Musaraj, Smoki, 2017 “Pyramid Firms and Value Transformation in Postsocialist Albania.” Ethnologie Française. Vol 2: 321-330.

Musaraj, Smoki, 2016 “Shtëpi Evropjane për një të ardhme më të mirë.” (European Homes for a Better Future.) Përpjekja Vol 34 (1)

Musaraj, Smoki, 2015 “Indicators, Global Expertise, and a Local Political Drama: Producing and Deploying Corruption Perception Surveys in Albania.” In The Quiet Power of Indicators: Measuring Development, Corruption, and Rule of Law. Edited by Sally Engle Merry, Kevin Davis, Angelina Fisher, and Benedict Kingsbury. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Musaraj, Smoki, 2012 “Alternative Publics, Alternative Temporalities: Unofficial Collective Practices in Communist Albania.” In Albania: Family, Society and Culture in the 20th Century. Eds. Andrea Hemming, Gentiana Kera, Enriketa Papa. LIT Verlag.

Musaraj, Smoki, 2011 “Tales from Albarado: The Materiality of Pyramid Schemes in Postsocialist Albania.” Cultural Anthropology. 26(1): 84-110. See also Supplementary Material.

Musaraj, Smoki, 2009 “Passport Troubles: Social Tactics and Places of Informal Transactions in Postosocialist Albania.” Anthropology of East Europe Review. 27(2): 157-175

Musaraj, Smoki, 2008 “Pikëpyetje Antropologjike Mbi Korrupsionin.” (Anthropological Questions on Corruption) Polis 6: Korrupsioni në Shqipëri (Corruption in Albania) European Univ. of Tirana. 6