2018 - 2019: Lila Abu-Lughod

"Is the War on Muslims a War on Rights?"
February 4, 2019
Myer Horowitz Theatre

About Lila Abu-Lughod

Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University where she teaches anthropology and gender studies. A leading voice in the debates about culture, gender, Islam, and global feminist politics, her award-winning books and articles have been translated into 14 languages. The books include Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society; Writing Women’s Worlds; Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt; and Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory. Her most recent book, published by Harvard University Press in 2013, is titled Do Muslim Women Need Saving?  Abu-Lughod’s scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long-term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the power of cultural forms, from poetry to television soap operas; the politics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and the question of liberalism and global projects of human and women’s rights. 

Abu-Lughod’s scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long-term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the power of cultural forms, from poetry to television soap operas; the politics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and the question of liberalism and global projects of human and women’s rights. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Carnegie Scholar, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her research has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She taught at Williams, Princeton, and New York University before moving to Columbia University in 2000 where she has since directed the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; the Middle East Institute; and the Center for the Study of Social Difference. She is on the board of the new Palestinian Museum in Birzeit and is currently working on a collaborative international project for Women Creating Change and supported by the Henry Luce Foundation on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence.”