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Muslim Women and the Media Training Institute: Trainers 2019


    Suad Joseph, Ph.D. 

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

    University of California, Davis




Suad Joseph is Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. 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, UC Davis. She is founder and director 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 of Middle East Women's Studies (JMEWS) published by Duke University Press. She is also founder and facilitator (since 2001) of the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo, the Lebanese American University, the University of California and Birzeit University Consortium, and American University of Sharjah (UCDAR). She served as the President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, 2010-2011. She is Founding and General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Her edited books include:  Arab Family Studies: Critical Reviews (Syracuse, 2018);  Women and Islamic Cultures:  Disciplinary Paradigms and Approaches (Bril, 2013l); 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); and Muslim-Christian Conflicts: Economic, Political, and Social Origins (Westview, 1978). She has published over 100 articles, and won many awards and prizes including the UC Davis Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (2014, $45,000).


    Elora Shehabuddin, Ph.D. 

    Associate Professor of Humanities and Political Science

    Rice University




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.


    Sarah Gualtieri, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor in the Department of History and American Studies and Ethnicity

    University of Southern California




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.


    Zeina Zaatari, Ph.D.

    Director of Arab American Cultural Center

    University of Illinois at Chicago



Zeina Zaatari is the director of the Arab American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Chicago, IL. 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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