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Smoki Musaraj

Smoki Musaraj, portrait
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Bentley Annex 155


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

M.A. Political Science. New School for Social Research, 2004

B.A. Cultural Studies and Political Studies. Trent University, 2001

Research & Expertise

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

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, Fellowships & Grants

Germaine Tillion Chair, Mediterranean Tomorrow, IMERA Institute of Advanced Studies, Marseille, France (2023)

Stavro Skëndi Book Prize for Achievement in Albanian Studies, Society for Albanian Studies (2020)

New York Public Library Short Term Fellowship (2020)

Outstanding Tutor Award, Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University (2020)

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 (2015)



Nataša Gregoriç Bon and Smoki Musaraj, eds. 2021. Remitting, Building, and Restoring Contemporary Albania. (Co-edited with Nataša Gregorič Bon). Palgrave Macmillan.

Musaraj, Smoki. 2020. Tales from Albarado: Ponzi Logics of Accumulation in Postsocialist Albania. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

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).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Musaraj, S., 2023. "Housing as Asset and Payment: Construction, Speculation, and Financialization at the European Periphery." American Anthropologist, 125(4), pp.865-879.

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

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

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

Book Chapters

Matthew Rosen and Smoki Musaraj 2022 “Tirana Visible and Invisible.” In Invisible Cities and the Urban Imagination. Edited by Benjamin Linder. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan.

Smoki Musaraj. 2021. "Temporalities of Concrete in a Postcommunist City." In Remitting, Building, and Restoring the Contemporary Albania. Palgrave Macmillan.

Smoki Musaraj and Nataša Gregoriç Bon. 2021. “Introduction: Remitting, Restoring and Building Contemporary Albania.” In Remitting, Building, and Restoring the Contemporary Albania. Palgrave Macmillan.

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, 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.

Editor-Reviewed Articles

Smoki Musaraj and Matthew Canfield, 2022. “Book Review Editorial: Emerging Themes in Legal and Political Anthropology.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 45 (2): 304-310.

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

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