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Professors to Avoid

Campus Watch is often asked which professors are most responsible for the politicization and bias sadly endemic to Middle East studies.

Given the discipline's decline, compiling an inclusive list would be futile. Hundreds of names could be credibly included, but even such a list would surely omit some while failing to highlight those most responsible for the field's general decline into a mockery of academe's purpose and aspirations.

In this spirit, we have selected those professors whose biases, ahistorical claims, apologetics, willful blindness, intolerance of opposing views, and mixing of politics and scholarship mark them as the most egregious offenders of the high standards to which faculty should be held.

For a listing of the field's outstanding figures, please go to the parallel page, "Recommended Professors."


Rabab Abdulhadi
Senior Scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative
Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies
San Francisco State University
Listed academic expertise: Palestine, Arab, and Muslim communities; race and resistance studies; transnational feminisms; gender and sexuality studies.
http://amed.sfsu.edu/faculty

Khaled Abou El Fadl
Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Professor of Law
Chair, Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program
University of California, Los Angeles
Listed academic expertise: International human rights; Islamic jurisprudence; national security law; law and terrorism; Islam and human rights; political asylum; political crimes and legal systems.
https://law.ucla.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/khaled-m-abou-el-fadl/

Thomas Abowd
Lecturer in Arabic studies, anthropology, American studies
Tufts University
Listed academic expertise: colonialism and decolonization; race and racial politics; gender and sexuality; Arab and Muslim Americans; policing and urban protest.
http://as.tufts.edu/americanStudies/faculty/

Nadia Abu El-Haj
Professor of Anthropology
Barnard College
Columbia University
Listed academic expertise: archaeology, genetic anthropology.
https://barnard.edu/profiles/nadia-abu-el-haj

As'ad AbuKhalil
Professor of Political Science
California State University, Stanislaus
Listed academic expertise: comparative politics of the Middle East; gender and sexuality in the Middle East; politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
https://www.csustan.edu/ppa/asad-abukhalil

Lila Abu-Lughod
Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science
Professor of Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies
Columbia University
Listed academic expertise: gender politics and nationalism in the Muslim world; liberalism, culture, and the politics of human and women's rights.
http://anthropology.columbia.edu/people/profile/347

Reza Aslan
Professor of Creative Writing
University of California, Riverside
Listed academic expertise: religion, theology, fiction, sociology.
http://creativewriting.ucr.edu/people/aslan/

Hatem Bazian
Director, Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project
Lecturer, Arabic language
University of California, Berkeley
http://nes.berkeley.edu/faculty/bazian.html
Co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology
Zaytuna College
https://www.zaytuna.edu/academics/faculty/
Listed academic expertise: Arabic language, Arab society and culture, colonialism and post-colonial studies, ethnic studies, Islamic studies, Islamic law, Palestine studies.

Joel Beinin
Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History
Stanford University
Listed academic expertise: workers, peasants, and minorities in the modern Middle East; Israel, Palestine, Arab-Israeli conflict.
http://web.stanford.edu/~beinin/

Juan Cole
Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History
University of Michigan
Listed academic expertise: modern history of the Middle East; America and Middle Eastern wars; religion in South Asia; Shia Islam: Iran, Iraq and India; Bahá'í studies.
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/

Elliott Colla
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Georgetown University
Listed academic expertise: modern Arab literature, culture and politics, antiquities.
http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/ec393/?action=viewgeneral&PageTemplateID=360

Miriam Cooke
Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures
Duke University
Listed academic expertise: Arabic, 20th century, criticism, feminist theory, comparative literature.
http://asianmideast.duke.edu/people?subpage=profile&Gurl=%2Faas%2FAMES&Uil=mcw

Hamid Dabashi
Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature
Columbia University
Listed academic expertise: Iranian studies, Iranian cinema.
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/mesaas/faculty/directory/dabashi.html

Noura Erakat
Assistant Professor
New Century College
George Mason University
Listed academic expertise: legal studies, international area studies, and social justice/human rights.
http://integrative.gmu.edu/people/nerakat

John Esposito
Professor of Religion and International Affairs and Islamic Studies
Founding Director, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
Project Director, Bridge Initiative
Georgetown University
Listed academic expertise: Islam, Islam and politics, Islamophobia, Muslim-Christian relations, religion, violence and terrorism.
http://sfs.georgetown.edu/faculty-bio/john-esposito/
http://bridge.georgetown.edu/team/

James Gelvin
Professor of History
University of California, Los Angeles
Listed academic expertise: social and cultural history of the modern Middle East, particularly Greater Syria, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
http://www.history.ucla.edu/faculty/james-gelvin

Sherman Jackson
King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture
Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity
University of Southern California
Listed academic expertise: classical Islamic Studies, including law, theology and intellectual history; modern Islam in the West; Muslim communities in America.
https://dornsife.usc.edu/cf/faculty-and-staff/faculty.cfm?pid=1038031

Rashid Khalidi
Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies
Co-director, Center for Palestine Studies
Director, Middle East Institute in the School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University
Listed academic expertise: Middle Eastern history; the United States, the Middle East and the Cold War; Islamic movements in the modern Middle East; Orientalism; modern history of Palestine; nationalism in the Arab world.
http://history.columbia.edu/faculty/Khalidi.html

Muqtedar Khan
Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations
Founding Director, Islamic Studies Program
University of Delaware
Listed academic expertise: American Muslims, foreign policy, international relations, Muslims in the West, national security, Pakistan, political Islam.
https://www.poscir.udel.edu/people/faculty/mkhan

Deepa Kumar
Associate Professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies
Rutgers University
Listed academic expertise: Islamophobia, political Islam, empire, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia, the Arab Spring, women and Islam.
https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/directory/dekumar/index.html

Mark LeVine
Professor of Middle Eastern History
University of California, Irvine
Listed academic expertise: Middle East history, cultures and religions of the modern Middle East, globalization, the role of music in political struggles, culture jamming, critical theory.
http://www.faculty.uci.edu//profile.cfm?faculty_id=5356

Ian Lustick
Bess W. Heyman Professor of Political Science
University of Pennsylvania
Listed academic expertise: comparative politics, international politics, Middle Eastern politics, agent-based, computer assisted modeling for the social sciences.
https://www.sas.upenn.edu/polisci/people/standing-faculty/ian-lustick

Saree Makdisi
Professor of English and Comparative Literature
University of California, Los Angeles
Listed academic expertise: British Romanticism, imperial culture, colonial and postcolonial theory and criticism, cultures of urban modernity, contemporary Arab politics and culture.
http://www.english.ucla.edu/all-faculty/231-makdisi-saree

Mahmood Mamdani
Herbert Lehman Professor of Government
Professor of Anthropology, Political Science and African Studies
Columbia University
Listed academic expertise: the study of Africa; the modern state and the colonial subject; the Cold War and the Third World; the theory, history, and practice of human rights; civil wars and the state in Africa.
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/mesaas/faculty/directory/mamdani.html

Joseph Massad
Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History
Columbia University
Listed academic expertise: Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli nationalism; theories of identity and culture; theories of nationalism, sexuality, race and religion.
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/mesaas/faculty/directory/massad.html

Ingrid Mattson
London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies
Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Listed academic expertise: Islamic studies; classical Islamic thought, culture and practices; Islamic ethics; interpreting the Qur'an.
http://www.huronuc.on.ca/academics/theology

Gabriel Piterberg
Professor of History
University of California, Los Angeles
Listed academic expertise: history of the Ottoman Empire and the Mediterranean in the early modern period; colonialism, Zionism, and Palestine/Israel.
http://www.history.ucla.edu/faculty/gabriel-piterberg

Jasbir Puar
Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies
Rutgers University
Listed academic expertise: critical ethnic studies, cultural studies, feminist globalization studies, immigration and diasporas, queer studies, sexualities studies.
http://womens-studies.rutgers.edu/faculty/core-faculty/66-the-faculty/core-faculty/143-jasbir-puar

Omid Safi
Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center
Duke University
Listed academic expertise: Islamic mysticism (Sufism), contemporary Islamic thought, medieval Islamic history.
http://islamicstudies.duke.edu/people?Gurl=%2Faas%2Fdisc&Uil=omid.safi&subpage=profile

Steven Salaita
Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies
American University of Beirut
Listed academic expertise: Native American studies, Arab-Israeli conflict, anti-Arab racism.
https://www.aub.edu.lb/fas/casar/FacultyStaff/Pages/index.aspx

Denis Sullivan
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
Co-director of the Middle East Center
Program Director, MA and PhD Programs
Northeastern University
Listed academic expertise: Egyptian society and culture, Islam, politics in the Middle East.
http://www.northeastern.edu/cssh/faculty/denis-sullivan

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