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Karen Barkey

Commenter – Panel: Minorities, Pluralism, Law – Wednesday, January 20 (11am -1pm PST // 2pm -4pm EST)
Karen Barkey photo

Karen Barkey is the Haas Distinguished Chair of Religious Diversity and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She also is the director of the Center for Democracy, Toleration and Religion (CDTR), located at Social Science Matrix, UC Berkeley and the co-director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR). Her academic work has been in the fields of Political and Comparative Historical Sociology with an emphasis on empires, issues of imperial diversity and religion, imperial institutional flexibility and longevity. Her most recent work relates to issues of religious diversity and coexistence, with particular research and policy intervention on the question of Shared Sacred Sites. She works on shared sacred sites in the Mediterranean, especially sites located in the post-Ottoman territories.

Barkey is one of the curators of the traveling Shared Sacred Sites exhibition. She has worked on the exhibition in the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Photography and the Yeni Cami in Thessaloniki (2017) and the New York exhibition at the NYPL, Morgan Library and Museum and CUNY Graduate Center (2018). She also runs a website on this topic which brings international participants and expertise on many shared sites around the world. She started this project to promote awareness and understanding of coexistence among religions. You can see more on the site:

Examples of published work:

Barkey, Karen. 2017. “The Ottomans and Toleration.” In Toleration in Comparative Perspective, edited by Vicki A. Spencer. Lanham, MD. Lexington Books.

Barkey, Karen. 2014. “Una Mirada SociolóGica Sobre La Tolerancia.” La Maleta de PortbouNo. 8 (Religión y Razón: Nuevas Cartas sobre la Tolerncia).

Barkey, Karen. 2014. “Empire and Toleration: A Comparative Sociology of Toleration within Empire.” In Boundaries of Toleration, edited by Alfred Stepan and Charles Taylor. New York: Columbia University Press.