miriam cooke


miriam cooke

Asian & Middle East Studies


1980D.Phil., Arabic Literature, St. Antony's College, Oxford University, England
1971M.A. Honors, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Edinburgh University, Scotland

Professional Positions

2017 to dateSeries Editor, “Written Culture and Identity” (I.B. Tauris & Bloomsbury)
2014-18Co-editor Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies
2012-22 Fall Visiting Professor, Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Istanbul
2012 SpringVisiting Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, Dartmouth College
2011-16Director of Duke-UNC Graduate Middle East Studies Certificate
2009-10Co-director Franklin Humanities Institute seminar “Innovating Forms”
2008-15PI at Duke for two successful rounds of Title VI funding for DUMESC
Founding Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (DUMESC)
2006 SpringVisiting Professor at Islamic State University, Jakarta, Indonesia
2004-09Education Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center
2001-2004Chair, Asian and African Languages and Literature (AALL), Duke
2001-3President of the Association of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies
2000 SpringVisiting Professor at Tunis I University
1996-99Chair, Asian & African Languages & Literature (re-named AMES)
1998 SummerVisiting Professor at Bucharest University, Romania
1997-2004Chair, Mediterranean Study Center
1994 to dateSeries Editor, “Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East” (Syracuse UP)
1993Full Professor, AALL (re-named AMES)
1987-94Founding Director, AALL (re-named AMES)
1987-93Associate Professor, AALL (re-named AMES)
1980-87Assistant Professor, Center for International Studies, Duke

Awards and Honors

2019Senior Research Fellow, Exeter University, England
2015Labex Researcher, Maison Mediterranneene des Sciences de l’Homme, Aix-Marseille University, France
Pembroke Feminist Theory Archive – papers solicited
2012Named Braxton Craven Distinguished Professor of Arab Cultures
2010Scholar in Residence, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
2008-16Board of Governors of the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies
2006-7Who’s Who of American Women
2003Arts Council Playwrights and Screenwriters Competition, judge
2001Women Claim Islam Choice Outstanding Academic Book
2001Trent Foundation award for Muslim Networks Workshop
2000Vice-Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies award for Muslim Networks
1997Women and the War Story Choice Outstanding Academic Book
1995-6Fulbright Scholarship in Syria - “The Politics of Cultural Production”
1994North Carolina Humanities Council grant for Genocide Conference
1990H.F. Guggenheim Consultancy for “Violence and Post-Colonial Islam”

Opening the Gates. A Century of Arab Feminist Writing (co-edited with Margot Badran) First Prize: Chicago Women in Publishing Books of Contemporary Relevance

Mellon Fellow, Gender and War Institute, Dartmouth College
1989Duke Research Council “War and Literature of South Asian Women”
1986SSRC Scholarship
American Association of University Women Fellowship
1985Trent grant to develop exchange with University of Qadi Ayad (Morocco)
The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual: Yahya Haqqi Choice Outstanding Book
1982Duke Research Council “Responses of Palestinian Women in Israel to the Lebanese Civil War”
Fulbright Research in Lebanon and Yemen



  1. The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual: Yahya Haqqi Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1984
  • Arabic translation by Egyptian Cultural Council Press 2005 (2nd edition 2009)
  1. Good Morning! (translation and edition of stories by Yahya Haqqi). Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1987
  • Partially reprinted in Clerk & Siegel, Modern Literatures of the Non-Western World, Harper Collins 1994
  1. War’s Other Voices: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War London/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988
  • Paperback by Syracuse University Press, 1996
  • Arabic translation by Egyptian Cultural Council Press 2006
  1. Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing (co-edited with Margot Badran), London: Virago/ Indiana University Press, 1990
  • Dutch translation by Veen Press: Ongesluierde Stemmen 1991
  • German translation by Rowohlt: Lesebuch der “Neuen Frau” Araberinnen über sich Selbst, 1992
  • 2nd edition with new introduction Indiana University Press 2004
  1. Gendering War Talk (co-edited Angela Woollacott) Princeton University Press, 1993
  • Princeton Legacy Library 2014
  1. Blood into Ink: 20th Century South Asian and Middle Eastern Women Write War (co-edited with Roshni Rustomji-Kerns) Westview Press, 1994
  1. Women and the War Story, University of California Press 1997
  1. Hayati, My Life: A Novel, Syracuse University Press 2000
  • Arabic translation by al-Jundi Press in Damascus 2004
  1. Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism Through Literature, New York: Routledge 2001
  • Arabic translation by National Translation Center Press in Cairo 2010
  • Chinese translation of chapter 5 in Newsletter of Eastern Literary Studies, Peking University, March 2012
  • Chapter One republished in Global Literary Theory Richard Lane (ed.) 2013
  1. Muslim Networks. From Hajj to Hip Hop (with Bruce Lawrence) UNC Press 2005
  • Permanent Black Press, India, 2006
  • Arabic translation by Oubekon, Saudi Arabia 2010
  1. Dissident Syria: Making Oppositional Arts Official Duke University Press 2007
  • Arabic translation by Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies 2014
  1. Mediterranean Passages from Delos to Derrida (with Grant Parker & Erdag Goknar) UNC Press 2008
  1. Nazira Zeineddine: Biography of an Islamic Feminist Pioneer Oxford: Oneworld Press (Makers of the Muslim World Series) 2010
  1. Tribal Modern: Branding New Nations in the Arab Gulf Berkeley: University of California Press 2014
  1. Dancing in Damascus: Creativity, Resilience and the Syrian Revolution NY: Routledge 2017


  1. “Yahya Haqqi as Literary Critic and Nationalist”, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 13/2 (1981), 21-34
  2. “Egypt-Baptism of Earth”, Arabiyya, 14 (1981), 5978
  3. “Lebanon – Is there a Future? Echos from Contemporary Lebanese Women Writers”, South Atlantic Quarterly, 81/3 (1982), 261-270
  4. “Lebanon at Bay. Redefining the Self through War”, Journal of Arab Affairs 2/1 (1982), 103-121
  5. “Lebanon. Theatre of the Absurd…Theatre of Dreams”, Journal of Arabic Literature, 13 (1982), 124-141
  6. “Ibn Khaldun and Language. From Linguistic Habit to Philological Craft”, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 1983, XVIII (34), 179-188
  7. “Telling Their Lives. A Hundred Years of Arab Women’s Writings”, World Literature Today, Spring 1986, Vol. 60, no. 2, 212-216
  8. “Trends in Modern Arabic Literary Criticism” Arabiyya, 1987, 20/1 & 2, 277-296
  9. “Women Write War: The Centering of the Beirut Decentrists”. Papers on Lebanon, Centre for Lebanese Studies, Oxford, no. 6, 1987, 22 pages
    [Republication: “Women Write War.  The Feminization of Lebanese Society in the War Literature of Emily Nasrallah” in British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Bulletin vol. 14/1 (1988), 52-67]
  10. “Prisons. Women Write about Islam”, Religion and Literature, 1988, 20/1, 139-153
  11. “Naguib Mahfouz” (review article), Middle East Journal, 1989, vol. 43 (3), 507-511
  12. “Deconstructing War Discourse: Women’s Participation in the Algerian Revolution”, Working Paper #187 for Women in International Development, Michigan State U. June 1989, 26 pages
  13. “The Heart’s Directions”, World and I, March 1991
    [Reprinted partially under title “The Veil Does Not Prevent Women from Working” in Ourselves among Others: Cross-Cultural Readings for Writers (ed. Carol Verburg) St. Martin’s P.1994]
  1. “Postmodern Wars. Phallomilitary Spectacle in The DTO” Journal of Urban and Cultural Studies, Nov 1991, 27-40
  2. “Arab Women Writers”, M.M. Badawi (ed.) in Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, Modern Arabic Literature, (Cambridge U P, 1992, 443-462)
    1. [Translated into Arabic “Al-katibat al-`arabiyat” in Al-adab al-`arabi al-hadith, Jeddah: Al-nadi al-adabi al-thaqafi 2002]
  3. “Men Constructed in the Mirror of Prostitution” in M. Beard & A. Haydar (eds.) Naguib Mahfouz: From Regional Fame to Global Recognition (Syracuse U.P 1993), 106-125
    1. [Reprinted in Peter F. Murphy (ed.), Fictions of Masculinity: Crossing Cultures Crossing Sexualities, New York University, 1994] 96-120
  4. Wo-man. Retelling the War Myth” in Cooke & Woollacott (1993), 177-204
  5. “Apple, Nabila and Ramza Arab Women’s Narratives of Resistance” in Lena Ross (ed.) To Speak or to be Silent: The Paradox of Disobedience in the Lives of Women, Chiron Publications, 1993, 85-96
  6. “Femmes Arabes. Guerres Arabes”, Peuples Mediterraneens, 64-65 (1993), 25-48
  7. “Zaynab al-Ghazali. Saint or Subversive?” Die Welt des Islams, 34/1 (1994), 1-20
  8. “Death and Desire in Iraqi War Fiction” in Roger Allen, Hilary Kilpatrick and Ed de Moor, Love and Sexuality in Modern Arabic Literature, Saqi Press, 1995, 184-199
  9. “Arab Women Arab Wars” in Cultural Critique (1994-5), 5-29
  10. “Reimagining Lebanon” Valentin Mudimbe (ed.) Nations, Identities, Cultures South Atlantic Quarterly (1995) 1075-1102
  11. “Ayyam min hayati: The Prison Memoirs of a Muslim Sister” Journal of Arabic Literature 26/1-2, 1995, 147-164
    1. [Reprint in The Postcolonial Crescent. Islam’s Impact on Contemporary Literature (John C. Hawley, ed.), 1997]
  12. “Mothers, Rebels and Textual Exchanges”, in Karen Gould and Keith Walker Beyond the Hexagon: Women Writing in French, Minnesota U.P., 1996, 140-156
  13. “The Globalization of Arab Women Writers” in Femme et Ecritures (Bahithat II 1995-96) 175-198
  14. “Al-mar’a wa qissat al-harb” in Al-Bayan (Kuwait) #305, 1995, 105-112
  15. “Prisms on Boundaries” in Bouazza Benachir (ed.) Le Croisement des Cultures Marrakesh U.P., 1995, 255-263
  16. “Subverting the Dominant Paradigms” in Judith Stiehm, Women and the Military, Temple University Press 1996, 235-269
  17. “Muslim Women Between Human Rights and Islamic Norms” with Bruce Lawrence in Irene Bloom (ed.) Religious Diversity and Human Rights Columbia University Press, 1996, 313-331
  18. “Listen to the Image Speak” in Cultural Values 1/1 1997, 101-117
    1. [Reprint in Routledge Reader of Intercultural Communication 2004, 2nd 2010, 3rd ed. 2016)
  19. “La femme et l’histoire de la guerre” in Fouzia Rhissassi (ed.), Le discours sur la femme, Rabat, 1998, 179-187
  20. “The Other Language” Peuples Mediterraneens, 1998, 131-156
    1. [Reprint in S. Morton & C. Schlote (eds) Reading Literature from the Middle East and its Diasporas 2009]
  21. “Recent Scholarship on Women in the Middle East” in National Women’s Studies Association Journal, 11/1, 1999, 178-184
  22. “Feminist Transgressions in the Postcolonial Arab World” in Critique 14, 1999, 93-105
    1. Translated into Chinese Middle East Studies of Peking University 1, 2015
  23. “Mapping Peace” in Lamia Shehadeh (ed.), Women and War in Lebanon (Florida University Press 1999), 73-89
  24. “Mediterranean Thinking: From Netizen to Medizen” in Geographical Review 89/2, April 1999, 290-300
    1. [Republished on-line by Nadi al-Fikr al-`Arabi April 2004)
  25. “Middle Eastern Literature’ in Understanding the Contemporary Middle Midde East Deborah J. Gerner (ed.) (Boulder: Lynne Rienner 2000) 345-382
    1. [2nd edition 2004; 3rd edition 2008; 4th edition 2013; 5th edition 2019]
  26. “Living in Truth” in Tradition, Modernity and Postmodernity in Arabic Literature, A. Kamal & W. Hallaq (eds.) Leiden: Brill, 2000, 203-221
  27. “Multiple Critique: Islamic Feminist Strategies” Nepantala 1/1 2000, 91-110
    1. [Reprint in L. Donaldson & K. Pui-Lan, Postcolonialism, Feminism and Religious Discourse (eds) Routledge 2002]
    2. “Critique multiple: Les strategies rhetoriques feministes islamiques” in L-Homme et la Societe 158/4 2005, 169-190
  28. “Women, Religion & Postcolonial Arab World” in Cultural Critique 45, 2000, 150-184
  29. “War, its machine and the women who fight them” Duke University Forum: The war against terrorism (October 17, 2001 https://sites.duke.edu/forum/war-its-machines-and-the-women-who-fight-them/)
  30. “Ghassan al-Jaba`i. Prison Literature in Syria after 1980″ in World Literature Today 75/2 2001, 237-245
  31. “La pensee mediterraneenne” in J.Chaker (ed.) Mediterranee et Mediterraneens. Sociabilite, representations Tunis 2002, 15-28
  32. “War, Gender and Military Studies. A Review Essay” Journal of NWSA 13/3 2001, 181-88
  33. “Censorship in Syria” in Censorship: A World Encyclopedia (2001), 2363-2367
  34. “Near Middle East and North African Culture” in International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2001), 10426-31
  35. “Humanist Nationalism” in Fatima Muge Gocek (ed.) Social Constructions of Nationalism in the Middle East SUNY Press 2002, 125-140
  36. “Beirut Reborn. The Political Aesthetics of Auto-Destruction” Yale Journal of Criticism, 15/2, 2002, 393-424
  37. “Islamic Feminism before and after September 11″ Journal of Gender Law & Policy (9) 2002, 227-235
  38. “Saving Brown Women” in Signs 28/1, 2002, 468-470
  39. “A la Recherche de la Langue Maternelle” in J.Chaker & m.cooke (eds.) L’identite. Choix ou combat Tunis 2002, 141-152
  40. “Euro-American Women’s Studies in Islamic Cultures” Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures Leiden: Brill, 2003, 428-438 [Arabic translation 568-580]
  41. “Al-adibat al-arabiyat fi al-qarn al-ishrin: manzur amriki” Al-mar’a al-`arabiya wa al-mutaghayyurat al-`alamiya Cairo 2003, 105-112
  42. “Contesting Campus Watch” Al-Azhar Journal of Research 7/1, 2004, 5-31
    1. [Republished on-line in Muntada al-kitab March 2005]
  43. “In Search of Leo Africanus” (with Bruce Lawrence) in Transitions Abroad April 2005
  44. “No such thing as women’s literature” in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 1 #2 Spring 2005
  45. “Women’s jihad before and after 9/11” in Daniel J. Sherman & Terry Nardin (eds.) Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11 Indiana University Press 2006, 165-183
  46. “Critique multiple : Les strategies rhetoriques feministes islamiques” in Feminismes – Theories, Mouvements, Conflits – L’Homme et la Societe (158) Editions Anthropos 2006
  47. “Women and Islamism in Europe” Neo Magazine July 2007
  48. “The Muslimwoman” Contemporary Islam, 2007, 139-154
  49. “Academic Freedom: the Danger of Critical Thinking” International Studies Perspectives 8/4, 2007
  50. “Baghdad Burning. Women Write War in Iraq” World Literature Today 2007
  51. “Dying to be Free: Wilderness Writing from Lebanon, Arabia and Libya” in Cheryl Toman (ed.) On Evelyne Accad: Essays in Literature, Feminism and Cultural Studies Summa Press 2007, 13-32
  52. “Deploying the Muslimwoman” (including roundtable response to mc essay) in Journal for Feminist Studies of Religion 2008
  53. “Yahya Haqqi: A Biography” in Wael Husayn (ed.) Wujuh Yahya Haqqi Egyptian Cultural Council Press 2008, 389-419
  54. “Yahya Haqqi: Arabic Wordsmith” in Roger Allen (ed.) Essays in Arabic Literary Biography 1850-1950 Harrassowitz Verlag 2010, 113-125
  55. “Arab Feminist Research and activism: Bridging the gap between the theoretical and the practical” Feminist Theory 2010 11:121
  56. “Performing Ibn Khaldun in Syria: The Role of the Intellectual in Troubled Times” in Houari Touati (ed.) Figures d’Ibn Khaldun: Reception, Appropriation et Usages Algiers: CNRPAH 2011
  57. “The Cell Story: Syrian Prison Stories after Hafiz Asad” in Middle East Critique 20/2, 2011, 169-188
  58. “Inside Dissident Syria” Al-Jazeera October 15, 2012
  59. “The New Empire” Boundary 2 May 17, 2013
  60. “Hopes and Disappointments: Revolutionary Narratives from Egyptian and Syrian Feminists” Jadaliyya July 24, 2013
  61. “Tadmor’s Ghosts” in Review of Middle East Studies 47/1 Summer 2013
  62. « Réseaux d’artistes et d’écrivains dans la nouvelle Méditerranée » in Méditerranée/ Mondialisation Paris : CNRS 2013
  63. « Recording World Wars » Review article in IJMES 46/4 November 2014
  64. « Ungendering Peace Talk » in Yasmin Saikia & Chad Haines (eds.) Women and Peace in the Islamic World : Gender, Agency and Influence London : I.B. Tauris 2015, 25-42
  65. « It’s a Revolution : The Cultural Outpouring Fueled by the Syrian War » in PS 21 : Project for the Study of the 21st Century March 2015 http://projects21.com/2015/03/08/its-a-revolution-the-cultural-outpouring-fueled-by-syrian-war/
  66. « Near Middle East/ North Africa Studies : Culture » in James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 16. Oxford: Elsevier. 2015 pp. 361–366.
  67. “Jewish Arabs in the Israeli Asylum: A Literary Reflection” in Roger Allen and Robin Ostle (eds.) Studying Modern Arabic Literature: Mustafa Badawi Scholar and Critic Edinburgh University Press 2015, 139-158
  68. “Nazira Zeineddine: Pioneer of Islamic Feminism” in Susan Bruce & Katherine Smits (eds.) Feminist Moments: Reading Feminist Texts London: Bloomsbury 2016, 115-123
  69. “Women and the Arab Spring: A transnational feminist movement” in Fatima Sadiqi (ed.) Women’s Movements in Post-Arab Spring North Africa NY: Palgrave Macmillan 2016, 31-44
  70. “Nawal El Saadawi: Writer and Revolutionary” in Robin Goodman, Literature and the Development of Feminist Theory Cambridge University Press 2016, 214-229
  71. “Creativity and Resilience in the Syrian Revolution” in R/evolutions: Global Trends and Regional Issues 4/1 2016, 90-108
  72. “Arab Women Writers 1980-2010” in Muhsin al-Musawi Arabic Literature for the Classroom: Teaching Methods, Theories and Texts London: Routledge 2017, 40-53
  73. “Reimagining the Syrian Revolution” in ASAP May 2018, 269-278
  74. “Curating the Syrian Revolution Online” in Susan Stanford Friedman Contemporary Revolutions: Turning Back to the Future in 21st Century Literature and Art London: Bloomsbury 2019, 103-122
  75. “Female Saints in Islam” in Tonaga & Fujii (eds.) Islamic Studies and the Study of Sufism in Academia: Rethinking Methodologies Kyoto University, 2019, 353-363
  76. “The Syrian Revolution, Art and the End of Ideology” in Anna Ball & Karim Matar (eds.) The Edinburgh Companion to the Postcolonial Middle East Edinburgh University Press 2019, 427-455
  77. “On Arabic: Reflections from Edinburgh University to Duke University” in Mbaye Lo The Arabic Classroom: Context, Text and Learners Routledge 2019, 63-69
  78. “Murad vs. ISIS: Rape as a Weapon of Genocide” JMEWS 15/ 3, 2019, 261-285
  79. “Literature in the Arab Postcolony” in Larbi Sadiki (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics 2020
  80. “Cold War Literature of the Middle East and North Africa” in Andrew Hammond (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature 2020, 591-611
  81. “Hijabi Activism” in Al-Raida 44/2, 2020, 1-22
  82. “Protest in the Age of Cyberatomism” in Protest #1 2021, 229-247




  • “War in Arab Feminist Political Thought” Tulane University
  • “Arab Feminist Political Thought” Kashmir University


  • “Women and Violence” Keynote Umran International Conference, Istanbul and Patna
  • Nawal El Saadawi Memorial Panel (organized at Duke University)
  • “Arab women writers” Dickinson College (virtual)


All talks and conference presentations March-Nov canceled due to pandemic
  • “Nawal El Saadawi: Theorizing the imagination and imagining theory” Keynote at International Conference Celebrating Arab Women London (virtual)
  • 4 lectures on Arabic Literature (Jahiliya; Adab; Rihla; Women Writers) Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul (virtual)


  • “Yazidi women challenge Daesh” Keynote at Al-Kitab University conference on Women, War and Peacemaking, Erbil, Iraq
  • “Julie Mehretu’s ‘Epigraph, Damascus’—a response” MIT
  • “Yazidi Women Challenge Daesh” Keynote at Feminism in the MENA Region: Women’s Rights in a Post-Globalist World, Kenitra, Morocco
  • “Archiving the Syrian Revolution” Max Plank Institute, Goettingen, Germany
  • “The Mahram Verses and their Abusers” Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
  • “Writing a Life with too few Facts” Master Class Exeter University, UK
  • “Lebanon’s Lost Pioneer of Islamic Feminism” AUB, Beirut
  • “The Syrian Revolution after 8 Years” Exeter University

    “Translating Classics” Gulf University of Science and Technology, Kuwait


  • “Ma al-hall li mu`anat al-ifriqiyat?” (What is the solution to the suffering of African women?) Keynote at African and Moroccan Women International Conference, Tiznit, Morocco
  • “Crossing Borders: Literary Perspectives on Women, Culture and Islam” 7-lecture series at Istanbul Tasawwuf Institute
  • “Autobiography and Islam” 5-lecture series at Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Istanbul
  • “Arab Women Write War” Zaim University, Istanbul
  • “Tribal Modern” at Tribe and State in the Middle East LSE Conference, London
  • “Dancing in Damascus” Smith College
  • “Murad v Daesh: Yazidi Women Break the Silence” Keynote at Hard Times Conference
    at UC Berkeley


  • “Networking Syrian Revolutionary Artists” Dallas Humanities Institute
  • “Syrian Revolutionary Art” University of Maryland
  • “Al-katibat al-‘arabiyat fi al-qarn al-‘ishrin” University of Maryland
  • “Dancing in Damascus” Celebrating Syria A Festival of Arts and Culture, Manchester UK
  • “Female Sufi Saints” Sufism Conference, Kyot
  • University, Japan
  • “Arab writers re-member trauma” UVA Charlottesville
  • “Islamic State, Women and Violence” University of Delaware
  • “Curating the Syrian Revolution” Arts of the Middle East Conference, Yale
  • “Creativity, Resilience and the Syrian Revolution” University of Oregon, Eugene
  • “Creativity, Resilience and the Syrian Revolution” Seattle University
  • “Arts of the Syrian Revolution” University of Washington
Suleymaniye mosque above the madrasa where Bruce and I work
with Huri İslamoğlu-İnan, Istanbul (2019)
with Hibba Rauf, above our madrasa offices