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Lila Abu-Lughod

Influential Anthropologist, Feminist, Middle East Expert

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Date of Birth:



USA, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Lila Abu-Lughod is a renowned Palestinian-American anthropologist, known for her significant contributions to the studies of gender, Islam, and global feminist politics. Her work, which is mostly ethnographic and based in Egypt, has had a profound impact on understanding the dynamics of gender and human rights within the Muslim world.

Brief bio

Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, where she teaches anthropology and gender studies. She has held directorial positions at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Center for the Study of Social Difference, and the Middle East Institute at Columbia. Her scholarship focuses on cultural forms and power, the politics of knowledge and representation, and gender and human rights issues in the Middle East and globally.

Major Milestones


  • Education: Abu-Lughod obtained her PhD from Harvard University in 1984, establishing her academic foundation.

  • Teaching at Columbia University: She has made significant contributions as a professor in anthropology and gender studies...See More

  • Leadership Roles: Abu-Lughod has served as a director at several institutes at Columbia University, shaping research and discourse in her fields of expertise.

  • Publication of "Veiled Sentiments": Her book "Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society" has been widely recognized and awarded.

  • Founding Member of the Center for Palestine Studies: She co-founded this center at Columbia University, furthering research and understanding of Palestinian issues.

  • Gender Studies in the Muslim World: Abu-Lughod's teachings and publications have significantly contributed to the understanding of gender politics in the Muslim world...See More

  • Anthropological Research: Her ethnographic research, particularly in Egypt, has been influential in the field of anthropology.

  • Publications on Women's and Human Rights: Her books such as "Do Muslim Women Need Saving?" challenge and enrich global discourses on feminism and human rights.

  • Contributions to Understanding Islam and Global Power: Her work provides insightful analyses of Islam within the context of global power dynamics.

  • Influence on Cultural and Ethnographic Studies: Abu-Lughod's scholarship has been vital in the study of cultural forms, power, and representation in the Arab and Muslim worlds...See More

Date of Last Update: 
February 4, 2024

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