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Suad Joseph

A Gentle and Generous Mentor: Janet Abu-Lughod

[Janet Abu-Lughod. Image by Lila Abu-Lughod.]

I first met Janet Abu-Lughod at a meeting of the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG). AAUG was co-founded in 1967 (disbanded in 2007), by Janet’s husband, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, a leading political scientist of the Arab world. A graduate student at Columbia University at the time, I was rather in awe of scholars who worked in the Arab World, especially if they were of Arab origin. Columbia, then, had relatively few Arab scholars (Edward Said had joined the faculty in ...

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Suad Joseph


Suad Joseph is Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of California, Davis and past President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. Her research addresses issues of gender; families, children, and youth; sociology of the family; and selfhood, citizenship, and the state in the Middle East, with a focus on her native Lebanon. Her earlier work focused on the politicization of religion in Lebanon. Joseph is the founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (now the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), the founder and coordinator of the Arab Families Working Group, the founder of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies, the General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, and the Founding Director of the Middle East/South Asian Studies Program at the University of California at Davis. She is also the founder and facilitator of the American University of Beirut, American University in CairoLebanese American UniversityUniversity of California at Davis, and Birzeit University Consortium.