Suad Joseph, ME/SA Founding Director
Office: 220 Young Hall
Phone: (530) 752.1593
Personal Web page: http://sjoseph.ucdavis.edu
Ph.D. 1975, Columbia University Anthropology.
Thesis title: The Politicization of Religious Sects in Borj Hammoud, Lebanon
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 carrying out 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 project includes analysis of citizenship, family and transnationalism as these families have migrated to the US and Canada over the course of the study. She has raised over $10 millions for research and curricular development.
She also leads a project analyzing the representation of Arabs, Muslims, Arab American and Muslim Americans in major American print new media. Prof. Joseph is the founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), founder of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and the Arab Families Research Group. She founded and directs a five-university consortium including the American University of Beirut, the American University of Cairo, the Lebanese American University, Birzeit University and University of California, Davis. She co-founded the Arab American Studies Association and the Association for Middle East Anthropology. She was the president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. She co-founded the Women and Gender Studies Program. Among the numerous awards she has received, she was awarded the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Research, the largest such prize in the United States.
She is also General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She has edited or co-edited 8 books, and published OVER 100 articles in journals and books. She has been a faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1976 where she is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, and is founding Director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program.
ME/SA Courses Taught
ANT 142 - Peoples of Middle East
WMS 178A - Women Writers of the Arab World
WMS 184 - Gender in Arab World
WMS 185 - Women & Islamic Discourse
MSA 180: TOPICS IN MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIA STUDIES