Rose Wellman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Rose Wellman
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Behavioral Sciences
4030 College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building | 4901 Evergreen Road | Dearborn, MI 48128
By Appointment

Teaching Areas:

Middle East Studies, Women's & Gender Studies, Anthropology, Arab American Studies

Research Areas:

Foodways, Iran / Iranian Studies, Islam, Kinship and Relatedness, Religion

Biography and Education

Rose Wellman is an anthropologist who specializes in the Middle East and its diaspora, including Arab Detroit. Her book, Feeding Iran: Shi’i Families and the Making of the Islamic Republic, draws from ethnographic research in Iran between 2007 and 2010 to explore how everyday family life and piety are linked to state power. Wellman is currently conducting research with Arab Americans, focusing on metro Detroit’s vibrant Iraqi community. She is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Arab American Studies, Middle East Studies, and Women and Gender Studies at UM-Dearborn as well as the Center for Arab American Narratives at ACCESS. Wellman's courses cover subjects as diverse as the Middle East, religion, kinship and marriage, food, and Islam. 

Selected Publications

Wellman, Rose, and Islam Jaffal. “Commemorations and Outreach: Shi‘i Leaders of Metro Detroit Take on the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Journal for the Anthropology of North America 26, no. 1–2 (2023): 21–40.

Wellman, Rose. Feeding Iran: Shi`i Families and the Making of the Islamic Republic. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA: June 2021.

Wellman, Rose. "Kinship and New Social Forms: Kindred Politics, Biotechnology, and Feminist Activism.” In Lene Pedersen and Lisa Cliggett (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Cultural Anthropology, April 2021, pp. 72-90.

Wellman, Rose. In a Basiji Kitchen: Halal Jello, Biomorality, and Blessing in the Islamic Republic of Iran Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. Vol. 20, no.1, 2020, pp. 23-33.

Wellman, Rose. Sacralizing Kinship, Naturalizing the Nation: Food and Prayer in Post-revolutionary Iran,” American Ethnologist, vol. 44, no. 3, 2017, pp. 503-515.

Awards and Recognition

In 2020, Wellman was awarded a research grant (with Dr. Carmel Price and Dr. Matthew Stiffler) to improve data on Arab and Middle Eastern and North African students in Southeastern Michigan. She further received research development funding for her ethnographic research project, “Making Home in Metro Detroit: Shi'i Iraqi Migrants Encountering American Islamophobia.”

Wellman has organized several international conferences including "Ethnography of Iran: Past and Present" (Princeton University) and "The Sacred Social: Spiritual Kinship among the Abrahamic Faiths" (Wenner-Gren Foundation). She is the recipient of support from the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.