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Dr. Patricia J. Higgins

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of Anthropology

Distinguished Service Professor Emerita Patricia J. Higgins is a cultural anthropologist specializing in education and culture, women and gender, and Iranian culture. She holds a B.A. in Social Science, an M.A. in Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology, all from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Dr. Higgins conducted field research in a suburb of Tehran, Iran, from 1969 to 1971 where she focused on the interface between home and school in the education and socialization of elementary school-age children. She returned to Iran as a Fulbright Lecturer in 1977–78, teaching anthropology at Tehran University and extending her research into the middle school educational program. Her third major research project involved the acculturation and adaptation of Iranian-origin high school students in Santa Clara County, California, in 1990. Her publications based on anthropological research have appeared in Iranian Studies, Signs, Human Organization, and Journal of Research and Development in Education and as book chapters and encyclopedia articles. 

Since retiring in 2011, Dr. Higgins has become a translator of literary works from Persian to English. Her publications in this area include Island of Bewilderment: A Novel of Modern Iran by Simin Daneshvar (Syracuse University Press, forthcoming), Hafez in Love: A Novel by Iraj Pezeshkzad (Syracuse University Press, 2021), and The Thousand Families: Commentary on Leading Political Figures of Nineteenth Century Iran by Ali Shabani (Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2018). All these translations are with Dr. Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi. Their joint translation of Hafez in Love, a light-hearted historical novel set in fourteenth century Shiraz, Iran, has been awarded the Lois Roth Prize for Literary Translation by the American Institute of Iranian Studies.

  • Education
    • Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1974
      • Dissertation:  Socialization in Modern Iranian Elementary Schools. Available from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    • M.A. in Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1969
    • B.A. in Social Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1965



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