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Photo of Naber, Nadine

Nadine Naber, PhD

Director of Undergraduate Studies and Professor

Gender and Women's Studies; Global Asian Studies

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Building & Room:

1216 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone:

(312) 355-0375



Nadine Naber received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. She is a Professor in the Gender and Women's Studies Program and the Global Asian Studies Program. She is the faculty founder and former director of the Arab American Cultural Center, and holds an affiliation with the Department of Anthropology. At UIC, she is also the co-principal investigator of the Diaspora Cluster. She is a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the steering committee of the Social Justice Initiative.

Dr. Naber is author of Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism (NYU Press, 2012). She is co-editor of the books Race and Arab Americans (Syracuse University Press, 2008); Arab and Arab American Feminisms, winner of the Arab American Book Award 2012 (Syracuse University Press, 2010); and The Color of Violence (South End Press, 2006).

Dr. Naber came to the University of Illinois from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she co-founded Arab and Muslim American Studies (an Ethnic Studies unit within the Program in American Culture). Dr. Naber’s research interests lie at the intersections of transnational feminisms; women of color and queer of color theory; de-colonizing feminisms; empire studies; critical race studies; and Middle East Studies; and Arab American Studies. Drawing upon these fields, Dr. Naber’s research theorizes the racialization of Arab and Muslim Americans within the contexts of empire and diaspora and has sought to answer the following question: How can Arab American Studies respond to Orientalism and tackle sexism, homophobia, and racism in ways that neither reinscribe Arab-bashing nor engage in Orientalism? Dr. Naber’s current book in progress, Ending Violence is a transnational feminist ethnography focusing on feminist and queer activism in Beirut, Lebanon and Cairo, Egypt in the context of social movements against dictatorship, imperialism, and sectarianism.

Dr. Naber has served as an editorial board member of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP); an advisory board member of the book series Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality with the University of Nebraska Press; Arab American Writing with Syracuse University Press; and the series Decolonizing Feminisms: Anti-racist and Transnational Praxis with the University of Washington Press. Dr. Naber is a member of the collaborative research group, Arab Families Working Group; a board member of the Arab American Studies Association; and a national council member of the American Studies Association.

Recently, Dr. Naber has served as a Human Rights Faculty Fellow within the University of Michigan's Center for International and Comparative Studies (2011 and 2012). She was the recipient of the Global Challenges for a Third Century award from the University of Michigan (2013). Dr. Naber received the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement's Public Discourse award (2013-2014); a faculty fellow award from the Great Cities Institute (UIC) (2014-2015); a Policy and Social Engagement Fellowship from the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (2015-2016); and an Institute for Humanities faculty fellowship (2019-2010). In 2015, she received the University of Washington, Department of Women’s Studies Earl and Edna Stice Social Justice Award (2015). In 2015, she became an expert author for the United Nations Economic and Social Council of West Asia (UNESCWA).  Dr. Naber was selected as an International Fellow with the Open Society Foundation’s Academic Fellowship Program to work with the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University in Palestine in the areas of curriculum and research development (2013-2016).

Dr. Naber is a public scholar and activist. She has served as a board member of movements like INCITE! Women of Color against Violence and the Arab Movement of Women arising for Justice and organizations like the Women of Color Resource Center and the Arab Women's Solidarity Association, North America. She is currently co-organizing the project "Pedagogies of Radical Mothering," which addresses the disproportionate impact of state violence on those who do the labor of mothering and uplifts the labor of mothering within Chicago based social movements.


PhD, Cultural Anthropology - University of California, Davis