Rose Wellman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anthropology; Assistant Director, Center for Arab American Studies
Rose Wellman
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Behavioral Sciences
Center for Arab American Studies
313-593-5520
10:00 - 11:00am Thursdays and by appointment

Teaching Areas:

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

Research Areas:

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

Biography and Education

Rose Wellman is an anthropologist who specializes in Iran, 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 Narratives at ACCESS and a member of Healthy Dearborn’s research committee.

Wellman’s courses cover subjects as diverse as the Middle East, religion, kinship and marriage, food, Islam, Islamophobia, anti-racism, globalization, and Arab America, emphasizing critical thinking and project-based learning in a globalized world. Wellman further draws from her research in metro Detroit and beyond to provide students with real world ethnographic research experiences and opportunities to engage the diverse community of South Eastern Michigan.

Between 2014 and 2017, Wellman was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2014 and her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in 2005.

Selected Publications

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.

Wellman, R. “Substance, Spirit, and Sociality among Shi'ias in Iran” In Todne Thomas, Asiya Malik and Rose Wellman (Eds.), New Directions in Spiritual Kinship: Sacred Ties across the Abrahamic Religions, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2017, pp. 171-194.

Wellman, R. Regenerating the Islamic Republic: Commemorating Martyrs in Provincial Iran,” The Muslim World Journal, vol. 105, no. 4, 2015, pp. 561-581.

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, a project that is ongoing. 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" (sponsored by Princeton University) and "The Sacred Social: Spiritual Kinship among the Abrahamic Faiths" (sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation).

In 2014, Rose received the distinguished Class of 1985 Fellowship for Creative Teaching Award at the University of Virginia.

She is the recipient of research and write-up support from the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren, and the Iranian Heritage Foundation.