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Suad Joseph

Suad Joseph

Distinguished Professor

220 Young Hall Department of Anthropology
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, California 95616, USA

Telephone: (530) 752-1593
Fax: (530) 752-8885

Office Hours for Spring 2014 :

  • Thursdays, 1:30-3:30 PM


Curriculum Vitae



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.

Research Interests
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. That work 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. Evolving from that increasing focus on gender, Joseph developed a long-term research program on the interface of gender, family and state in the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanon, but also carrying out 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 currently working on three projects: The first is 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 second is a project on transnational Lebanese families, study some of the families from the first project who migrated to the United States and Canada. The third is a media project, critically assessing the representation of Arab and Muslim Americans in major print news media such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She is the founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS), the Arab Families Research Group; and the American University of Beirut, American University in Cairo, Lebanese American University, University of California, Davis, and Birzeit University Consortium. She has been a faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1976 where she is Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, and is founding Director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program.

Key Publications

2003-2007 Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, General Editor, Volumes I-VI, Leiden: Brill

2001 co-edited with Susan Slyomovics. Women and Power in the Middle East. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2000 editor, Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press

1999 editor, Intimate Selving in Arab Families. Gender, Self and Identity. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Edited and Co-Edited books

2001 Gender and Power in the Middle East. Suad Joseph, Susan Slymovics, co-Eds, University of Pennsylvania Press. 
2000 Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East. Suad Joseph, Ed., Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
1999 Intimate Selving in Arab Families: Gender, Self and Identity. Suad Joseph, Ed., Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Projects in Process
Framings:  Rethinking Arab Family Projects

Updates and News

  • Suad Joseph was elected President-Elect of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in November 2009. She will serve as President-Elect 2009-2010. She will serve as President of MESA 2010-2011, giving her Presidential Address at the MESA annual meeting to be held in Washington, D.C., in December 2011. She serves as Past President of MESA, 20110-2012.
  • Suad Joseph presented a training workshop on research design and proposal writing at Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestine to faculty, students and NGO's in December 2009. The workshop was run on behalf of the Arab Families Working Group, co-housed at the University of California, Davis and the American University in Cairo. Joseph is the founder and Coordinator of AFWG.
  • Suad Joseph presented a three-day workshop on research design and proposal writing at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to faculty of the Dubai and the Abu Dhabi campuses of Zayed University. She also led a workshop discussion on how to Problems and Issues in training Undergraduates for Research Partnerships.
  • Suad Joseph led a workshop discussion in December 2009 at the American University in Sharja, United Arab Emirates, on "Pioneering Spaces: Building Women and Gender Studies Institutionally". The Workshop was for faculty and administration at AUS.






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Dept. of Anthropology

328 Young Hall
One Shields Ave.
University of California
Davis, Ca 95616-8522

Ph.  530-752-0745
Fax. 530-752-8885