Timea Greta Biro


Research Interests
Bureaucratization of religion (Islam in particular), politics and religion, religion and society, anthropology of humanitarianism, development studies, anthropology of gender and sexuality, forced migration.

Research Area(s)
Southeast Asia (Malaysia), Europe


Timea Greta Biro joined the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology as a doctoral candidate in 2017. She holds a B.A. degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Babes-Bolyai University, Romania (2007), and an MSc degree in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance from Brunel University, London (2016). After completing her B.A., Greta worked on community development projects in Eastern Europe. In 2011 she relocated to the UK, where she worked as an early childhood educator, and also volunteered as a museum educator at the University of Oxford Museums. In 2016 she continued her studies at Brunel to pursue her passion for anthropological research combined with her interest in humanitarianism, the politics of aid and gender studies, before she joined the Emmy Noether Group.

Her current PhD project examines the interactions between Muslim trans-women and state-Islamic bureaucracies in Malaysia, focusing in particular on government attempts to “rehabilitate” transgender people, at times through the use of Islamic alms (zakat), and simultaneous attempts by trans-women to influence the state. In her ethnography, Greta aims to explore life-stories of trans-women, as well as the everyday workings and policies of bureaucracies “assisting” them, while addressing broader anthropological issues such as, gender- and religious identity, body-politics, self-representation, violence and nation-making.

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