From the Editors
Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao
New Texts Out Now: Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, Women's Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent
Lila Abu-Lughod and Anupama Rao, editors, Women’s Rights, Muslim Family Law, and the Politics of Consent. Special issue of SOCIALDIFFERENCE-ONLINE (December 2011). [SOCIALDIFFERENCE-ONLINE is a publication of the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University, an advanced study center that promotes innovative interdisciplinary scholarship on the role of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race in global dynamics of power and ...Keep Reading »
Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University. She teaches in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She co-directs Columbia’s Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference, an advanced study center that promotes innovative interdisciplinary scholarship on the global dynamics of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race. Her work, strongly ethnographic and mostly based in Egypt, has focused on three broad issues: the relationship between cultural forms and power; the politics of knowledge and representation; and the dynamics of gender and the question of women’s rights in the Middle East. She is the author of three books, Veiled Sentiments, Writing Women’s Worlds, and Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt. In a number of edited books, as well as her teaching, she has examined questions of gender and modernity in postcolonial theory, of anthropology and global media, and of violence national/cultural memory in Palestine. Currently, as part of an effort to use anthropology to contribute to larger political debates, she is focusing on critiques of the universalist claims of liberalism and on the ethical and political dilemmas entailed in the international circulation of discourses of human rights in general, and Muslim women’s rights in particular. Her book, Saving Muslim Women, is forthcoming with Harvard University Press.
Anupama Rao is an Associate Professor in the History Department at Barnard College. She has research and teaching interests in the history of anti-colonialism; gender and sexuality studies; caste and race; historical anthropology, social theory, and colonial genealogies of human rights and humanitarianism. Her book, The Caste Question (University of California Press, 2009) theorizes caste subalternity, with specific focus on the role of anti-caste thought (and its thinkers) in producing alternative genealogies of political subject-formation through the vernacularization of political universals. She has also written on the themes of colonialism and humanitarianism, and on non-Western histories of gender and sexuality. Recent publications include: Discipline and the Other Body (Duke University Press, 2006); “Death of a Kotwal: Injury and the Politics of Recognition,” Subaltern Studies XII; Violence, Vulnerability and Embodiment (co-editor, special issues of Gender and History, 2004), and Gender and Caste: Issues in Indian Feminism (Kali for Women, 2003). Professor Rao is currently working on a project titled Dalit Bombay, on the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in colonial and postcolonial Bombay. She has served as president of the Society for the Advancement of the History of South Asia (SAHSA) of the American Historical Association (2011); director of the project, “Liberalism and its Others,” at the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University; and as a member of the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies, 2010-12. She was a Fellow-in-Residence at the National Humanities Center from 2008-09, and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford during 2010-11.