Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies
Depart. of Anthropology, University of California,
1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616
messages: 530-752-0745 | fax: 530-752-8885
Suad Joseph was born in Lebanon. All of her formal education has been in the US. She completed a BA in Social Science at the State University in New York, Cortland, one year of graduate work in Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University. Most of her anthropological field research has focused on her native Lebanon. Her early work investigated the policitization 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. Evoling 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 transfered from family arenas into political/public arenas.
She is General Editor of the 6-volume print Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures(Brill 2003-2008) and EWIC OnLine (2009 -). She is Editor of: Intimate Selving in Arab Families: Gender, Self and Identity (1999, Syracuse); and of Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East (2000, Syracuse), co-editor of Women and Power in the Middle East (U. Pennsylvia 2001). She has co-edited two volumes in citizenship in Lebanon (Arabic) and authored around 100 journal articles and book chapters.
She is founder of the Middle East Research Group in Anthropology (which evolved into the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), the Association for Middle East Women's Studies, the Arab Families Working Group and the American University of Beirut, American University in Cairo, Lebanese American University, University of California, Davis and Birzeit University Consortium. She is also founding Director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. She has been a faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1976 where she is Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies.