Image of Edward Snajdr
Professor and Chair
Phone number
Room number
9.63.22 NB

1998   PhD    University of Pittsburgh
1989  BA       Northwestern University


My research interests include urban redevelopment, violence, ethnicity, gender, human trafficking, environmentalism, and the application of anthropological perspectives in the fields of development, law and social justice - broadly defined. I am also exploring the role of technology in the public and private spheres of cultural systems. I have fieldwork experience in post-socialist states including Slovakia, Kazakhstan, and Bosnia, as well as in the U.S. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of State, Fulbright IIIE, International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

My first book Nature Protests: The End of Ecology After Communism (U Washington Press 2008) examines the dynamics of environmental activism in the political history of Slovakia. I have published widely on human trafficking, domestic violence and Islam, ethnicity and gender violence, environmental justice movements and on gentrification, social justice and placemaking.  

My second book, with Shonna Trinch, titled What the Signs Say: Language, Gentrification and Placemaking in Brooklyn (Vanderbilt University Press 2020) investigates the dynamics of place making and urban change in the framework of gentrification, redevelopment and its intersections with diversity, inclusion, racism, and white privilege. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation.

I am currently the Chair of the department.  

Scholarly Work

Selected List:


Trinch, Shonna and Edward Snajdr. (2020) What the Signs Say: Language, Gentrification and Placemaking in Brooklyn. Vanderbilt University Press.

Snajdr, Edward. (2008). Nature Protests: The End of Ecology in Slovakia. University of Washington Press.



Snajdr, Edward and Shonna Trinch (2022) “To Preserve and to Protect Vanishing Signs: Activism through Art, Ethnography and Linguistics in a Gentrifying City” Social Semiotics, 32(4):504-524.

Snajdr, Edward and Shonna Trinch (2018) "When the Street Disappears: Eminent Domain, Redevelopment and the Dissociative State." Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR).

Trinch, Shonna and Edward Snajdr (2017) "What the Signs Say: Gentrification, Redevelopment and the Disappearance of Capitalism without Distinction in Brooklyn." Journal of Sociolinguistics.

Snajdr, Edward (2013) "Beneath the Master Narrative: Human Trafficking, Myths  of Sexual Slavery and Ethnographic  Realities." Dialectical Anthropology. 37(2).

Snajdr, Edward, and Anthony Marcus. (2013)  "Anti-Anti-Trafficking?: Toward Critical Ethnographies of Human 
Trafficking" Dialectical Anthropology. 37(2).

Snajdr, Edward (2012) “From Brigades to Blogs: Environmentalism Online in Slovakia 20 Years after the Velvet Revolution” Czech Sociological Review. 48(3): 493-508.

Snajdr, Edward. (2007). “Ethnicizing the Subject: Domestic Violence and the Politics of  Primordialism in Kazakhstan.” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 13:603-620.

Snajdr, Edward. (2005) “Gender, Power and the Performance of Justice: Muslim Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence in Kazakhstan.” American Ethnologist. 32(2):294-311.

Snajdr, Edward and Dmitriy Vyortkin. (2001). “Domestic Violence Police Training in Kazakhstan.” Crime and Justice International. Vol. 17. No. 53. Pp. 5-24.


Research Summary

External Research Grants Awarded:

 2011   National Science Foundation, Cultural Anthropology Program, Senior Research Grant #   0963590 (Year Two) “The Dynamics of Placemaking in Contested Cities” Shonna Trinch (Co-PI, Anthropology). (Amount Awarded: $254,000).

 2006    International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). Post-Conflict Conflict: Assessing Law Enforcement and NGO Community and their Responses to Human Trafficking in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Jacqueline Berman, PI, Martina Vandenberg, Edward Snajdr, Co-PIs) ($2000)

 2002    National Science Foundation. Law and Social Science Program. Senior Research Grant. SES # 0111405.  “Justice, Faith and Gender: Muslim Women’s Responses to Domestic Violence in Kazakhstan.” (Amount: $56,000)

2002    United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Office of Democracy and Governance. Bureau for Europe and Eurasia. “Development and Delivery of Supported Distance Learning Legal Studies Partnership Program for the CEE Region.” Co-PI/Director. Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte, 2002-2003. (Amount: $1,995,000)

2001    United States Department of State. Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Anti-Domestic Violence and Trafficking in Persons Program. “Improving the Response to Domestic and Gender Violence in Kazakhstan.” Grant # S-INLEC-01-CA-0009. Applied field research, law enforcement training, women’s NGOs in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Dan Maier-Katkin and Dmitriy Vyortkin (Co-PIs). September 2001-August 2003. (Amount: $430,938)

1999   United States Department of State. Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. “Improving the Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence in Kazakhstan.” Grant # S-OPRAQ-98-H-N-163. Research, development and delivery of police training program for the Republic of Kazakhstan. Co-PI with Dmitriy Vyortkin, Evelyn Zellerer and Dan Maier-Katkin. January 2000-June 2001. (Amount: $572,000)

1998    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “Social Justice, International NGOs and Civil Society in Eastern Europe.” Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship for field research, data analysis, write-up and publication on environmental organizations and Eastern European transition politics. Washington D.C.  One month. (Amount: $3,000)

1995    National Science Foundation. Anthropology Division. Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. SBR# 9412715. “Environmentalism and Nationalism in the Slovak Republic” University of Pittsburgh, 1994-1995. Support for ethnographic field research, data collection and analysis for dissertation. Slovak Republic. (Amount: $6,500)

1995    International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). Advanced Individual Research Grant. Support for field research, data collection and analysis. Slovak Republic. 1995. (Amount: $13,000)

1994   Fulbright-IIE. Dissertation Research Fellowship. Support for field research, data collection and analysis. Slovak Republic. 1994-1995. (Amount: $15,000)