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: Bedouin Stories; Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt; Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory; and 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 and ethics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and questions of liberalism and the global projects of women’s and human 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, among others. She taught at Williams, Princeton, and New York University before moving to Columbia University in 2000 where she has since held various positions including directing 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 Palestinian Museum in Birzeit and Insaniyyat, the Association of Palestinian Anthropologists. Her latest book is The Cunning of Gender Violence: Geopolitics and Feminism (Duke University Press 2023) co-edited with Rema Hammami and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian out of a collaborative international project on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence” supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and housed at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University.
Her favorite band is Overcoats