Tessa Farmer headshot

Tessa Rose Farmer

Assistant Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures
Office location and address
B043 New Cabell Hall
1605 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904

Tessa Farmer is Assistant Professor in the Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures Department and the Global Studies Program at the University of Virginia, where she serves as the Track Director for the Global Studies-Middle East South Asia (GSMS) program. Tessa received her MA (2007) and PhD (2014) in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. She conducted fieldwork in Cairo, Egypt between 2009 and 2016. Based on this work, her current book project, “Cairo Ecologies: Water and Wastewater at the Doorstep,” investigates the ways in which lower income residents of Cairo work to obtain sources of potable water and deal with the ramifications of sewage in their urban ecology. Her research has been awarded funding by the Fulbright Hayes, the Social Science Research Council, the PEO, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in Middle East Law and Governance, Review of Middle East Studies, Text Practice and Performance, and she is co-guest editing a special issue on the Environment in the Middle East in the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

MESA 1559: New Course in Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies
Credits: 3
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of Middle Eastern and South Asian studies.
MEST 2270: Culture and Society of the Contemporary Arab Middle East
Credits: 3
Introduces the cultural traits and patterns of contemporary Arab society based on scholarly research, recent field work, and personal experiences and observations in the Arab world. Taught in English; no knowledge of Arabic is required.
GSGS 2559: New Course in Global Studies
Credits: 1–6
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in Global Studies.
GSMS 3010: The Global in Situ: Perspectives from the Middle East and South Asia
Credits: 3
The Middle East and South Asia as locations within the "Global South." This class will de-center Euro-American spaces and intellectual histories, and work toward a grounded re-centering of attention on place-particular histories and intellectual contributions. We will also examine what globalization, as concept and as a set of semi-coherent processes, has meant in particular local and regional spaces in the Middle East and South Asia.
GDS 3020: Global Development, Theories and Case Studies, Part Two
Credits: 3
Theoretical approaches to global development from anthropology, economics, environmental sciences, history, politics, and sociology, and analysis of selected case studies. This is the second course in a two-semester sequence. Prerequisite: GDS 3010 AND the student must be a GDS major in order to enroll. Instructor Permission.
MESA 3110: Sustainable Environments Middle East and South Asia
Credits: 3
From arid cities to irrigated fields, hot deserts to high mountains, the Middle East and South Asia encompasses a range of environments for thinking through the relationships between nature and society, people and animals, human and nonhuman worlds.
MEST 3559: New Course in Middle Eastern Studies
Credits: 3
New course in Middle Eastern Studies.
GSMS 4991: Fourth-year Seminar
Credits: 3
In this seminar, GSMS majors complete their GSMS research paper.
GSMS 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent study to be arranged by student in consultation with professor. Requires instructor permission.
MEST 5270: Culture & Society of Contemp. Arab Mid. East
Credits: 3
This course will address some of the religious, socio-political, and historical factors that have contributed to the shaping of the Arab Middle East and Arab identity(s) in the modern age. From the rise of Islam in the 7th century A.D., to the Ottoman Empire, to the colonial remapping of the Middle East during the period of the two World Wars,to the Gulf and Iraq wars, this course will help students gain an understanding of modern Arab culture.