Modern Greek Studies Association

Dr. Heath Cabot

Assistant Professor

University of Pittsburgh

Department of Anthropology


2010, PhD, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

2005, MA, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

2001, BA, Religion and the Humanities, University of Chicago

Principal Publications

On the Doorstep of Europe, Asylum and Citizenship in Greece
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014

Articles and book chapters:

2019. Cabot, Heath. "The business of anthropology and the European refugee regime." American Ethnologist 46.3 (2019): 261-275. 

2019. Cabot, Heath. "The European refugee crisis and humanitarian citizenship in Greece." Ethnos 84.5 (2019): 747-771.

2018. “The ‘Good’ Police Officer: Intimate Encounters with the State in Greece” The Anthropology of Police, William Garriott and Kevin Karpiak eds. NY: Routledge.

2018. “The Twilight Zone: Shifting Terrains of Asylum in Greece in the Age of Security and Austerity.” Living Under Austerity: Greek Society in Crisis, Evdoxios Doxiadis and Aimee Placas eds. London: Berghan. 

2018. “‘She Goes with the Refugees:’ Desire and Knowledge at an Athenian NGO,” in Sex: Ethnographic Encounters, Richard Martinez and Dieter Haller ed. Bloomsbury.

2016. “Refugee Voices Tragedy, Ghosts, and the Anthropology of Not Knowing." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 0891241615625567. 2016

2016. "'Contagious Solidarity:’ Reconfiguring Care and Citizenship in Greece's Social Clinics.' Social Anthropology, 24, 152-166. 2016

2013. "Engagements and Interruptions: Mapping Emotion at An Athenian NGO." In: Fleischer, F. & Schlecker, M. (eds.) Careful Encounters: Ethnographies of Support. Palgrave MacMillan. 2013

2013. "The Social Aesthetics of Eligibility: NGO Aid and Indeterminacy in the Greek Asylum Process." American Ethnologist, 40, 452-466. 2013

2012 (with Ramona Lenz) "Borders of (In)Visibility in the Greek Aegean." In: Nogues Pedregal, A. M. (ed.) Culture and Society in Tourism Contexts. Bingley, U.K. : Emerald Press, 2012.

2012. "The Governance of Things: Documenting Limbo in the Greek Asylum Procedure." PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 35, 11-29. 2012

Selected other writings:

"Reading the Signs: Dust, Smoke, and# Displacement in Athens." Allegra Lab: Anthropology, Law, Art, World (2018).

"Camaraderie in the Face of Greek Austerity" Sapiens, November 2016.

“Crisis, Hot Spots, and Paper Pushers: A Reflection on Asylum in Greece,” Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology website, June 28, 2016.

“The Chronicities of Crisis in Athens’ Social Solidarity Clinics,” 2016. Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology website, April 21, 2016.

“The Banality of Solidarity,” Occasional Papers 7, Journal of Modern Greek Studies website, November, 2015.

"Crisis and Continuity: A Critical Look at the 'European Refugee Crisis.'" 2015

University of Pittsburgh
3302 WWPH
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

(412) 748-7500

+306907694264 GR

Department Website

Personal Website

Areas of Specialization

Refugees, asylum, civil society, law, human rights and humanitarianism, the state.

(Working on refugees and asylum in Greece since 2005.)

Social support and care, health, rights, citizenship, solidarity (Project on solidarity and healthcare in Athens, 2015-)

Courses Taught in Modern Greek Studies

Mobility and Displacement

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My first research project, which formed the basis for my book (On the Doorstep of Europe: Asylum and Citizenship in Greece, UPenn Press 2014), examined political asylum on the EU’s most porous external border. Between 2005 and 2013, I conducted twenty-two months of ethnographic fieldwork on asylum adjudication in Greece, social and legal support in the NGO sector, EU policy-making, and migrant and refugee political mobilizations. I show that while asylum law and humanitarian aid enact exclusion, they also speak to emergent configurations of Greek, European, and more global citizenship, often transforming knowledge, ethics, and judgment. 


I am currently working on a second book manuscript on the precaritization of human and social rights in austerity-ridden Greece through the prism of healthcare distributed at the grassroots level. This project emerged directly from my earlier research, as I observed Greek citizens increasingly seeking services necessary for the sustenance of bodily health in extra-state venues, often alongside asylum seekers and refugees. This project is focused on “social pharmacies and clinics,” grassroots initiatives that provide care and medicines based on political-economic and social “solidarity.” Since 2011, these clinics have emerged throughout Greece, operating on horizontally-organized forms of voluntarism and redistribution. Pensioners, unemployed persons, and migrants and refugees work alongside each other to assist diverse groups of beneficiaries (some of whom are volunteers themselves) through the redistribution of medicines and care. I show how citizens and non-citizens alike in Greece are increasingly dependent on both formal and informal modes of humanitarian governance, which, I argue, throws into question the capacity of state and supranational governments to safeguard access to right on the margins of the global North.