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Joseph, Suad 


Dr. Suad Joseph at University of California, Davis

EWIC General Editor

Suad Joseph is Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her research has focused on her native Lebanon, on the politicization of religion, on women in local communities, on women, family and state, and on questions of self, citizenship, and rights. Her current research is a long-term longitudinal study on how children in a village of Lebanon learn their notions of rights, responsibilities and citizenship in the aftermath of the Civil War and on their transnational families who have moved to the United States and Canada.

She is Founding Director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program. She is founder and facilitator of the Arab Families Working Group (AFWG), a group of 16 scholars undertaking comparative, interdisciplinary research on Arab families in Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and the United States.  She is founder of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and co-founder of AMEW's Journal for Middle East Women's Studies (JMEWS) published by Indiana University Press. She is also founder and facilitator for the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo, the Lebanese American University, the University of California and Birzeit University Collaborative Initiative. She served as the President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, 2010-2011.

She is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Her edited books include Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East (Syracuse, 2000), and Intimate Selving in Arab Families (Syracuse, 1999). Her co-edited books include: Building Citizenship in Lebanon (Lebanese American University, 1999); Women and Citizenship in Lebanon (1999) and Women and Power in the Middle East (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001).


 Booth, Marilyn


University of Edinburgh

EWIC Online Editor

Marilyn Booth holds the Iraq Chair in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, where she is head of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW). She was Associate Professor, Program in Comparative and World Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004-2008, and Director of the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She had taught previously at Brown University and American University in Cairo. She earned her DPhil at University of Oxford (St Antony’s College). She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies and served as Book Review Editor for the Journal of Women’s History, 2004-10. She is a Trustee, British Council for Research in the Levant and has been on the Board of MESA as well as other organizations. She is a panel member on the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014, has served as a Mentor for the British Centre for Literary Translation, is an Advisory Board Member, American University in Cairo Center for Translation Studies, and has served on the judging committee for several translation prizes as well as the Albert Hourani Book Prize (twice). She has held postdoctoral research fellowships from Mellon, Fulbright, American Research Center in Egypt, NEH, and ACLS as well as the Joanna Randall‑McIver Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford (St. Hugh's College, 1983‑85). She is an active literary translator, having published 13 translations of novels, short story collections and memoir, some of which have been prize-winning. She is currently writing two books, a monograph on Zaynab Fawwaz (c1850-1914) as a multifaceted commentator on the politics of gender and nation in late-nineteenth-century Egypt, and a monograph on autobiographical practices amongst Arab women, 1880s-1930s.

Booth’s areas of research interest include early feminisms and nationalist/Islamic discourses in the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey; the emergence of Arabic fiction in the 19th century and its relation to gender activisms as well as, more generally, feminisms and Arabic fiction; auto/biography in the Middle East/North Africa; literature and politics of Arabic colloquials; literary translation—theory and practice; the history of Arabic periodicals, especially the satirical press and the women’s press; visual and written caricature in Arabic periodicals; and book and publishing history, the formation of readerships and discourses on reading. Avocations include spinning (and cleaning fleeces), knitting, cycling, walking and reading.

Selected research publications:

  • Harem Histories: Envisioning Places and Living Spaces. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010. (editor and contributor)
  • May Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001.
  • Bayram al‑Tunisi's Egypt: Social Criticism and Narrative Strategies. Exeter: Ithaca Press (St. Antony's Middle East Monographs no. 22), 1990.
  • Islamic Politics, Street Literature and John Stuart Mill: Composing gendered ideals in 1990s Egypt. Feminist Studies, 2013.
  • Before Qasim Amin: Writing histories of gender politics in 1890s Egypt. In The Long 1890s in Egypt: Colonial Quiescence, Subterranean Resistance, edited by Marilyn Booth and Anthony Gorman (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2013).
  • Locating women’s autobiographical writing in colonial Egypt. Women’s Autobiography in South Asia and the Middle East: Defining a Genre. Special Issue of the Journal of Women’s History, ed. Marilyn Booth, 2013.
  • House as novel, novel as house: The global, the intimate, and the terrifying in contemporary Egyptian literature. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 47: 4 (Sept. 2011): 377-90.
  • Constructions of Syrian Identity in the Women’s Press in Egypt. In The Origins of Syrian Nationhood: Histories, pioneers and identity, edited by Adel Beshara. London: Routledge, 2011. Pp. 223-52.
  • The Muslim Woman as celebrity author and the politics of translating Arabic: Girls of Riyadh go on the road. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 6:3 (Fall 2010): 149-82.
  • Between the Harem and the Houseboat: Fallenness, Gendered Spaces and the Female National Subject in 1920s Egypt. In Harem Histories: Envisioning Places and Living Spaces, edited by Marilyn Booth. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010. Pp. 342-73.
  • ’A’isha ‘Ismat bint Isma’il Taymur. Essays in Arabic Literary Biography 1850-1950, edited by Roger Allen. Weisbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010. Pp. 366-76. Zaynab Fawwaz al-‘Amili. Essays in Arabic Literary Biography 1850-1950, edited by Roger Allen. Weisbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010. Pp. 93-98.
  • Translator v. author (2007): Girls of Riyadh go to New York. Translation Studies 1:2 (July 2008): 197-211.
  • Exploding into the Seventies: Ahmad Fu’ad Nigm, Shaykh Imam, and the Aesthetics of a New Youth Politics. Cairo Papers in Social Science. Special Issue: Political and Social Protest in Egypt. 29: 2/3 (Summer/Fall 2006; published Cairo, 2009): 19-44.
  • From the Horse’s Rump and the Whorehouse Keyhole: Ventriloquized Memoirs as Political Voice in 1920s Egypt. Maghreb Review 32:2-3 (2007): 233-61.
  • Un/safe/ly at Home: Narratives of Sexual Coercion in 1920s Egypt. Gender and History 16:3 (November 2004): 744-68. Violence, Vulnerability and Embodiment, ed. Shani D’Cruze and Anupama Rao. Volume also published as Violence, Vulnerability and Embodiment: Gender and History (London: Blackwell, 2005).
  • Middle East Women’s and Gender History: State of a Field. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History (e-journal) 4:1 (2003). New Directions in Women’s History.
  • ’She Herself was the Ultimate Rule’: Arab Women’s Biographies of their Missionary Teachers, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 13:4 (October 2002): 427-48. Missionary Transformations, ed. Eleanor Doumato.


Davary, Bahar


University of San Diego

EWIC Online Editor

Bahar Davary is an Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego and affiliate faculty of the Ethnic Studies department. She received her Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in Catholic Theological Tradition and Muslim-Christian Dialogue and M.A. and B.A. in History of Religion and Islamic Theology from University of Tehran. Her research interests are: Qur’an and its interpretations, Women in Islam, and Muslim-Christian Dialogue. Her research on women in classical interpretations of the Qur’an, examines selected works of Tafsir, focusing on the development, continuity, and change in the portrayal of woman throughout Islamic history and the ways in which the commentaries affect the self-perception of Muslim women. In “Miss Elsa and the Veil: Shame, Honor, and Identity Negotiations” she looks at the theme of women as the “gendered other,” but more specifically i.e. the “veiled other.” Her research takes on a comparative approach between Christian and Islamic feminist thought pointing to similarities and differences in their approaches to their respective textual tradition. She has participated in research projects in Turkey and Iran on the to explore the variety of meanings of the veil as a religious symbol and its place in the consciousness of Turkish and Iranian Muslim women. Her research in Southeast Asia focuses on ecology and its relation with the sacred and with the feminine. Davary has served on the board of editors for the Companion Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (Routledge, 2006), was an external Consultant on Islam for the Center for the Study of Catholic Social Thought, at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (2007-2011) and is currently (2011-) serving on the advisory board of the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. In the past years she has taught courses, including: World Religions, Islam, Gender and Islam, Muslim Women in Literature, Ecology and the Sacred, and Islamic Mysticism. She has team-taught study abroad course Negotiating Religious Diversity in India; Honors course Women in Islam and Confucianism, and World Religion and Theatre.

Selected Publications:

  • Women and the Qur’an: A Study in Islamic Hermeneutics, (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press), 2009
  • “Miss Elsa and the Veil: Shame, Honor, and Identity Negotiations,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion at Harvard Divinity School, Vol. 25.2, Fall 2009
  • “Muslim and Christian Women: The Common Legacy of Patriarchy,” Alam-e Niswan: Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol. 15/2, December 2008, pp. 61-75
  • “Re-appropriation of Tradition in A Secular Age: The Question of the Veil” Dinbilimleri Akademik Arastirma Dergisi (On-line Journal for the Academic Study of Religion -in Turkish) Vol. 8 No. 3, August 2008, pp. 291-312 
  • “Forgiveness in Islam: Is It An Ultimate Reality?” in Ultimate Reality and Meaning: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Philosophy of Understanding, University of Toronto Press, Vol. 27, no. 2 (June 2004), pp. 127-141
  • “Mary in Islam: ‘No Man Could Have Been Like This Woman’”, New Theology Review, Vol. 23, number 3, August 2010, pp. 26-34.
  • “Violence to the Text: Violence through the Text,” in Joseph Hoffmann, ed., The Just War and Jihad: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2006) pp. 121-138


Gualtieri, Sarah


University of Southern California

EWIC Online Editor

Sarah Gualtieri is Associate Professor in the Departments of History and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is a scholar of the modern Middle East whose work focuses on questions of race, gender, and migration. Her book "Between Arab and White" (University of California Press, 2009) examines the history of Arab racial formation in the United States with a particular focus on the problematic of “whiteness.” Specifically, the work explores how Arabs came to be officially classified as white by the U.S. government, and how different Arab groups interpreted, accepted, or contested this racial classification over the course of the 20th century. Gualtieri is now working on a project entitled "The Lebanese in Los Angeles: Migration and Transnationalism in a Multi-racial Landscape," which has received funding from the American Council of Learned Societies and USC's Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Fellowship. At USC, Prof. Gualtieri teaches undergraduate courses on Women and Revolution in the Middle East, Arabs in America, the Modern Middle East, and a graduate seminar in Critical Studies of Whiteness. She served for two years as Faculty Advisor to the Middle East Studies Program at USC.


Shehabuddin, Elora


Rice University

 EWIC Online Editor

Elora Shehabuddin is Associate Professor of Humanities and Political Science at Rice University. She currently serves as Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, as well as of the Chao Center for Asian Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University and A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University. Her dissertation, "Encounters with the State: Gender and Islam in Rural Bangladesh," was awarded the American Political Science Association's Aaron Wildavsky Award for best dissertation in religion and politics in 2002. Her publications include the books Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development and Muslim Women in Bangladesh (2008) and Empowering Rural Women: The Impact of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh (1992); articles in Modern Asian Studies, Signs, Journal of Women's History, and Asian Survey, as well as chapters in several edited books. She is an Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She has held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Social Science Research Council, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She was selected to be a Research Associate in the Women's Studies in Religion Program at the Divinity School at Harvard University in 2004-5. She was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2006 for a comparative study of gender and Islamist politics in the Middle East and South Asia. She has also begun work on a historical study of the intersection of feminism and Islam in the shadow of empire.


De Jorio, Rosa 



University of North Florida

EWIC Online Editor

Rosa de Jorio is associate professor of anthropology at the University of North Florida. Her research interests include gender, Islam and the public sphere, the politics of culture, the anthropology of the state and transnationalism. De Jorio has published several articles and book chapters and guest-edited two special journal issues for Polar: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review and Africa Today. Her book titled National Heritage and Public Culture in Mali is forthcoming with the University of Illinois Press.

Zeina Zaatari


University of California, Davis 

EWIC Online Editor

Zeina Zaatari is a lecturer and research associate at the University of California in Davis and an independent consultant focusing on gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa. She is currently working on a book project titled: Interrogating Heteronormativity in Lebanon: Family, Citizenship, and Access to Adulthood.  Previously, she worked as the Regional Director for the MENA Program at Global Fund for Women (2004-2012) where she managed a diverse grantmaking program to support women’s movements. She earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Feminist Theory from the University of California at Davis, with dissertation fieldwork focusing on women’s groups and activists in South Lebanon. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development and is a core group member of the Arab Families Working Group.

Her publications include an edited book Telling Our Stories: Women’s Voices of the Middle East and North Africa (2011), and chapters/articles including “Desirable Masculinity/Femininity and Nostalgia of the “Anti-Modernity”: Bab el-Hara Television Series as a Site of Production” in Sexuality and Culture (2014), “Re-Imagining Family, Gender, and Sexuality: Feminist and LGBT Activism in the context of the 2006 Invasion of Lebanon” co-written with Nadine Naber in Journal Cultural Dynamics: Insurgent Scholarship on Culture, Politics, and Power  (2014), “Arab Feminist Awakening: Possibilities and Necessities” in Arab Feminisms: A Critical Perspective (in Arabic 2012, English 2014), “In the Belly of the Beast: Struggling for Non-Violent Belonging” in Arab and Arab American Feminisms (2011), “Women’s Leadership in the MENA,” in Gender and Women’s Leadership (2010), “Production of Knowledge: International Development Agencies” in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (2010), and “The Culture of Motherhood: An Avenue for Women’s Civil Participation” in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (2006).  Additionally, she has authored several commissioned research publications including: “Unpacking Gender: The Humanitarian Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan” (2014, Women’s Refugee Commission), and “No Democracy Without Women’s Equality: Middle East and North Africa” (2013, Social Science Research Council, Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum).


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