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Dr. Suad Joseph



University of California, Davis

Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies


Suad Joseph


Anthropology Department, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616

Office 2-R Young (530) 752-1593,  Fax (530) 752-8885



1962-66 State University of New York at Cortland. B.A. Social Science. Magna cum Laude.

1966-67 University of Pittsburgh. Anthropology. One year graduate work.

1967-75 Columbia University Anthropology. Ph.D. 1975. Thesis title: The Politicization of Religious Sects in Borj Hammoud, Lebanon.

Dr. Suad Joseph CV


Most of Dr. Joseph's anthropological field research has focused on her native Lebanon. Her early work investigated the politicization of religious sects in Lebanon leading up to the civil war in 1975.  Questions of ethnicity and state, local community organization and development led her to consider the impact of women's visiting networks on local and national politics, and the relationships between local communities, community organizations and the state. Joseph developed a long-term research program on the interface of gender, family and state in the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanon, with comparative work in Iraq. Central to this research program has been her work theorizing culturally situated notions of "self", "rights", "citizenship" in the context of different political regimes and in the context of the pressures and processes of globalization. She is carrying out a long-term research project following a cohort of children in a Lebanese village, observing, as they grow, how they learn their notions of rights, responsibilities, nationality, citizenship; how these notions come to be gendered; and how the notions are transferred from family arenas into political/public arenas. The project includes analysis of citizenship, family, and transnational families, as some of these families migrated to the US and Canada over the course of the study.  She leads a project analyzing the representation of Arabs, Muslims, Arab American, and Muslim Americans in major American print news media. 

Dr. Joseph is the founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), founder and founding president of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and founder and director of the Arab Families Research Group. She founded and directs the University of California Davis Arab Region Consortium, including the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo, the Lebanese American University, Birzeit University, American University of Sharjah, and UC Davis. She was president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2010-2011. She is co-founder and founding president of the Arab American Studies Association and co-founder of the Association for Middle East Anthropology.  She is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.  She has edited or co-edited 10 books, and published over 100 articles in journals and books.  She has been a faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1976 where she is Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies. She is the founder and founding Director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at UC Davis and was awarded the UC Davis Prize – the largest undergraduate teaching and research prize in the United States. She was awarded the UC Davis Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship for 2020-2021.




Upcoming Events  


2020 September-December 2022.  Awarded Contract by the Open Society Foundation, Amman, to lead a project on the Mapping of the Production of Knowledge on Women and Gender in the Arab Region.  Project is carried out in collaboration with a grant to the Arab Council for the Social Sciences for the MPK project.

October 2020 - December 2021 Suad Joseph has been appointed the Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professor at UC Davis. The Professorship comes with a grant of $15,000 for the “Gendered and Cultural Framework for Refugee Mental Health: The Arab Crisis”

November 19, 2020 10am PST “COOKING IN THE CAULDRON: Middle East Studies 1966 – 2020.” George Mason University Distinguished Lecture.

2021:  Keynote address: “Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Middle East and North Africa:  Contributions and Trajectories.”  University of Illinois, Chicago

Aug 11-13, 2021 Gender and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa: A Decade of Uprisings Conference. University of Gothenburg. “A Gendered and Cultural Framework for Refugee Mental Health” 


December 2020:  Arab American Women: Representation and Refusal, edited by Michael Suleiman, Suad Joseph, Louise Cainkar, Syracuse University Press. Can be found here

In Press  “Tribute to Michael Suleiman” in Arab American Women:  Representation and Refusal. Edited by Michael W. Suleiman, Suad Joseph and Louise Cainkar. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

In Press  Arab American Women: Intersectional Genealogies and Trajectories. in Arab American Women:  Representation and Refusal. Edited by Michael W. Suleiman, Suad Joseph and Louise Cainkar. Syracuse:  Syracuse University Press.

In Press  “Arab American Gender Representations in the New York Times: 1851 Through 1919.” in Arab American Women:  Representation and Refusal. Edited By  Michael W. Suleiman, Suad Joseph and Louise Cainkar. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

In Press “Brothers and Sisters, Husbands and Wives: Love/Power/In-Law. In Brothers and Sisters: Sibling Relationships Over the Life Course. Edited by Anna Buchanan and Anna Rotkirch. London: Palgrave Macmillan

2020  Foreword. In Women Rising: Resistance, Revolution, and Reform in the Arab Spring and Beyond.  Edited by Mounira Charrad and Rita Stephan. New York:  New York University Press.

In Press 2020

Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures 2010-2020

      Volume I:  Family, Law, Religion, and Theory

      Volume II: Body, Sexuality, and Health

      Volume III: Economics, Migration, and Refugees

      Volume IV: Colonialism, Education, and Governance


In Press 2021

       Volume V Political and Social Movements 

        Volume VI  Arts and Artists  

        Volume VII  Knowledge Production and Representation 

        Volume VIII Literary Studies, Media, and Communications

        Volume IX Cumulative Index 



Past Events

November 6, 7 2020 Muslim Women and the Media Training Institute Cohort 3. Seminar 2. Via ZOOM. 

October 2020 Middle East Studies Association, Washington, DC. Suad Joseph presents Proposal Writing and Research Design for Early Career Professional. ZOOM. 

October 7, 2020, 1:30pm EST EWIC Thematic Conversation at the Middle East Studies Association (ZOOM meeting) invites the scholarly community into a discussion with the EWIC Editors on the next generation of EWIC Online to be launched in 2021.

Oct 6, 2020 Proposal Writing Professional Development Workshop. Middle East Studies Association. Via ZOOM

August 28-30, 2020 The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Scholars Editorial Board held a retreat to plan for a new generation of EWIC Online which will be launched in 2021

June 25, 2020 @ 8-9 AM PST: Suad Joseph presented:  “Reflections on ‘Selving’” ENIS/MIDA Online Summer School 

June 17, 2020 Suad Joseph participated in the webinar? “Mobility in The Sustainable City, Dubai (UAE)”. 

May 22, 2020 @ 9am PACIFIC Time:  Suad Joseph Interview by Tory Brykalski for the Association for Middle East Children and Youth Studies. Topic of her interview:  Joseph’s 2018 edited book:  Arab Family Studies: Critical Reviews

March 28, 2020 Muslim Women and the Media Seminar. Cohort III. Seminar I. via Zoom


« December 2020 »
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