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Updated 10:00 AM October 25, 2004




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New CAAS director named at U-M-Dearborn

Professor Rabab Abdulhadi has been named director of the Center for Arab American Studies (CAAS) at U-M-Dearborn. She also will be associate professor of sociology.

She joined the faculty Sept. 1. Her appointments were approved by the Board of Regents at its May 20 meeting on the Dearborn campus.

Abdulhadi's scholarship addresses issues of empire, postcoloniality and resistance; globalization and development; and transnational feminisms. She currently is revising two books: "Cultures of Resistance and the 'Post Colonial' State: Altering the Question of Palestine" and "Revising the Master Narrative? Nation, Resistance and Feminism in Palestine." She has published scholarly articles on Palestinian national identity and on gender and nationalism, and also has written widely about issues in the Middle East for Arabic and English-language media.
Community leaders Ed Deeb (left) and Michael Berry (right) greet Rabab Abdulhadi at a campus reception. (Photo by U-M-Dearborn)

Abdulhadi has co-initiated a number of research projects. The first phase of the "Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Global South" project was a collaborative workshop she co-organized with the Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the American University in Cairo.

Her ongoing research focuses on Palestinian refugees and displacement. In particular, she has been collecting oral history narratives from survivors of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut. Her latest work in progress focuses on "Carving Spaces, Building Communities: Palestinian Women's Activism in North America 1983-1995."

Born and raised in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestine, Abdulhadi received her bachelor's degree with highest honors in 1994 from Hunter College in New York City, and two master's degrees and a doctoral degree in sociology from Yale University in 2000. She has taught at a number of American and Arab colleges and universities, including Yale, Hunter College, the American University of Cairo, and Bir Zeit University in Palestine. She is the recipient of teaching excellence awards at Yale and the American University in Cairo.

Abdulhadi comes to U-M-Dearborn from New York University, where she was an assistant professor/faculty fellow at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

As an activist scholar, Abdulhadi worked as a journalist based at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for 10 years, reporting on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as on social and economic issues and Arab American affairs. She has lectured on a variety of topics.

She has co-founded and led major campaigns and organizations, including the General Union of Palestinian Students, the Union of Palestinian Women's Associations in North America, the Howard Beach Justice Campaign, and the 1985 "Israel-South Africa: The Apartheid Connection" 26-city educational tour. She is the first and only Arab ever to be elected to the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She was elected to the board of the Brecht Forum in 2003.

Abdulhadi has received numerous grants, honors and awards. Most recently, she was selected by the Fulbright Commission for the 2004-2005 New Century Scholarship, focusing on "The Global Empowerment of Women."

"Professor Abdulhadi's education and experience will enable her to lead the development of curriculum in Arab American studies, design research activities and plan outreach events, as well as represent the Center for Arab American Studies to the public," says U-M-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little.

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