Middle East Studies

Leah Zani

Public Anthropologist, Author, and Poet

Leah Zani (she/they) is a public anthropologist, author, and poet based in Oakland, California. They use creative and literary methods to investigate the social impact of war. Zani is the author of Strike Patterns (SUP 2022), winner of the 2023 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) Gold Prize for Creative Nonfiction. "Strike Patterns" is a hybrid memoir combining their fieldwork in Laos with their experiences being raised by two trans parents, one of whom was a Vietnam War veteran who fought in Laos. They are also the author of "Bomb Children" (DUP 2019), an academic monograph on ethnography and poetry. Two of the poems in "Bomb Children" won poetry prizes from the Society of Humanistic Anthropology. From 2018 to 2021, they served as the Poetry Editor at Anthropology and Humanism. Zani’s articles, essays, and poems have appeared or will soon appear in Anthropology Quarterly, American Anthropologist, Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology News, SAPIENS, Kenyon Review Online, and Consequence Magazine, among others.