Profile picture of Lamia Karim

Lamia Karim

Professor & Department Head
Anthropology, Asian Studies, SAIL
Phone: 541-346-5095
Office: 375 Condon Hall
Office Hours: Wed from 2-3 PM and by appointment and Zoom
Research Interests: women, work, neoliberalism, state, and Islam


Dr. Lamia Karim is Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. She is a cultural anthropologist working on women, work, neoliberalism, state, NGOs, and Islam in Bangladesh and South Asia. She has over twenty-five years of research experience and has conducted multiple research projects on women and development.

Her research has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, blogs, and op-eds. Her pioneering research on work, gender, development, state, microfinance, and religious movements has received major national awards and grants from the National Science Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Fellowship Program, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and a Faculty Fellowship at the Institute for Labor Studies (re:work) at Humboldt University, Berlin. 

Note to prospective graduate students: Dr. Karim is no longer accepting graduate students.


Castbooks of Capital: Work and Love among Garment Workers in Bangladesh (Univerity of Minnesota 2022).

Castoffs of Capital draws on fieldwork in Bangladesh to examine how female garment workers experience their work and personal livs within the stranglkehold of global capital. The book focuses on the relations among work, gender and global capital's targeting of poor women to advance its market penetration, showing how women navigate these spaces by adopting new subject formations. 

For more details, go to University of Minnesota Press webpage.

Castoffs of Capital: Work and Love among Garment Workers in Bangladesh received the University of Oregon's Provost Book Publication Award 2023.

Castoffs of Capital: Work and Love Among Garment Workers IN Bangladesh received the Society of Cultural Anthropology's Gregory Bateson Book Prize, Honorable Mention, 2022.

Lamia Karim's Podcast on Castoffs of Capital with Dr. Alka Kurian, South Asian Films and Books

Lamia Karim's Oregon Humanities Center Book-in-Print Talk, February 16, 2024.

Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh (University of Minnesota Press, 2011).

Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh is a path-breaking study of gender, grassroots globalziation, and neoliberalism in Bangladesh looks critically at the Grameen Bank and three of the leading NGOs in the country. Amid the euphoria over the benefits of microfiannce, the book offers a sobering perspective on the practical, and possibly, detrimental, realities for poor women inducted into microfinance operations.

For more details, go to University of Minnesota Press webpage.…

Current Projects

Dr. Karim is currently working on a new book project entitled Ethnography as Collage that weaves in multiple strands of ethnographic research she conducted over the years from indigenous poetry to the environment to women’s religious movement. She is interested in studying the new imaginaries of AI in the reconstruction of work lives and its effects on gender, race and class.


B.A., Brandeis University (1984); M.A., University of Michigan (1993); Ph.D., Rice University (2002).