Robert Family Professor of International Studies
Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies
Nadje Al-Ali has recently left her long-term position at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS University of London to join Brown as the Robert Family Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies. Her main research interests revolve around feminist activism and gendered mobilization, mainly with reference to Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdish political movement. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books), and Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000. Her co-edited book with Deborah al-Najjar entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press) won the 2014 Arab-American book prize for non-fiction.
Professor Al-Ali is on the advisory board of kohl: a journal of body and gender research and has been involved in several feminist organizations and campaigns transnationally.
My research to date has focused on women’s and gendered mobilizations in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdish regions) as well as the gendered dimensions of transnational migration and diaspora mobilization (with reference to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and the Kurdish political movement).
Recently I have finished co-edited a book entitled Gender, Islam & Governance (co-edited with Deniz Kandiyoti and Katherine Spellman), which builds on Deniz Kandiyoti’s classic edited volume Women, Islam & the State (1991). In this volume, we are exploring the links between the politics of gender and governance issues (both global and domestic) in relation to a selected number of Muslim majority countries as well as Muslim diasporas.
Currently, I am engaged in research for a new book project with the working title Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East to be published by Cambridge University Press. Building on previous research and activism in relation to Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and the Kurdish movement, I am exploring the centrality of gender and sexuality for understanding key developments and processes in the region. One of the specific angles I am exploring is the complex relationship between knowledge production about gender and sexuality with reference to the Middle East in academic and activist contexts.
Forthcoming. Gender, Islam & Governance. Co-edited with Deniz Kandiyoti & Kathryn Spellman. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.
Forthcoming. ‘Feminist and Queer Perspectives on West Asia’, in Queer Asia (eds. Jonathan Daniel Luther & Jennifer Ung Loh). London & New York: Zed Books (co-authored with Ghiwa Sayegh).
2018. 'Iraq'. In: Joseph, Suad, (ed.), Arab Family Studies: Critical Reviews. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, pp 153-169.
2018. 'Sexual violence in Iraq: Challenges for transnational feminist politics.' European Journal of Women’s Studies. Vol. 25(1): 10–27.
2018 ‘Reconsidering Nationalism and Feminism: The Kurdish Political Movement in Turkey’, in Nations & Nationalism 24 (2): 453-473 (co-authored with Latif Tas).
2017. '“War is like a Blanket…:” Feminist Convergences in Kurdish and Turkish Women’s Rights Activism for Peace'. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, (13) 3, pp 354-375 (co-authored Latif Tas).
2016. 'Gender, protest and political transition in the Middle East and North Africa'. In: Steans, Jill and Tepe-Belfrage, Daniela, (eds.), Handbook on Gender in World Politics. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, pp 127-136 (co-authored with Nicola Pratt).
2014. We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press (co-edited with Deborah Al-Najjar).
2012. 'Gendering the Arab Spring.' Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 5 (1), pp. 26-31.
2009. What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq. (Co-authored with Nicola Pratt). Berkeley: University of California Press.
I am going to introduce the following new courses starting September 2019:
Gender & Sexuality in the Middle East (UG)
Transnational Feminist Mobilizations: Comparative Perspectives (GT)
Anthropological Perspectives on the Middle East
‘Rethinking Orientalism: Gender, Body Politics and Authoritarianism in the Middle East’. Rutgers – Newark, November 2018.
‘Gendering Activism: Rethinking Power, Authoritarianism and Resistance’; invited keynote at Connecting Resistances in West Asia, North Africa and Europe; Al-Sharq and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin, October 2018.
‘Feminist Dilemmas: How to talk about gender-based violence in the Middle East’; invited lecture at Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS University of London, October 2018.
Interview – Feminist Freedom Warriors: In conversation with Profs Chandra Mohanty & Linda Carty https://vimeo.com/266037388/80fd73d593; April 2018
‘Feminism in Crisis? Gender and the Arab Public Sphere’, invited keynote address at AUB, Beirut, January 2018.
‘Defining the Contours of Activist Scholarship in Human Rights’, invited keynote at conference on Activist Scholarship in Human Rights: New Challenges, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, June 2017.
Interview – Nadje Al-Ali. E-International Relations. http://www.e-ir.info/2016/01/30/interview-nadje-al-ali/, 2016
‘Transformation(s) in the Middle East and Beyond: Transnational Feminist Perspectives and Dilemmas’, invited keynote at conference on Political transformations – transformations of the political: feminist perspectives. University of Frankfurt, Germany, October 2016.
‘Gendering the Kurdish-Turkish conflict and attempts at peace: a talk with Nadje Al-Ali’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_yOfS3DkTM, 2016
‘Gendered perspectives on refugees and refuge’, invited lecture, German-Jewish Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, 20 June 2016.