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miriam cooke, Braxton Craven Distinguished Professor Emerita of Arab Cultures

miriam cooke

Please note: miriam has left the "Asian & Middle Eastern Studies" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

miriam cooke is Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures at Duke University. She has been a visiting professor in Tunisia, Romania, Indonesia, Qatar and Alliance of Civilizations Institute in Istanbul. She serves on several international advisory boards, including academic journals and institutions. Since coming to Duke University she has taught Arabic language and a wide variety of courses on Arabic literature, war and gender, the Palestine-Israel conflict, postcolonial theory. She has directed several study abroad courses in Morocco, Tunisia, Cairo and Istanbul.

Her writings have focused on the intersection of gender and war in modern Arabic literature and on Arab women writers’ constructions of Islamic feminism. Her more recent interests have turned to Arab cultural studies with a concentration on Syria, and to the networked connections among Arabs and Muslims around the world.

She is the author of several monographs that include The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual:  Yahya Haqqi (1984); War's Other Voices: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War (1988); Women and the War Story (1997); Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism through Literature (2001); Dissident Syria: Making Oppositional Arts Official (2007) and Nazira Zeineddine: A Pioneer of Islamic Feminism (2010). Her examination of cultural production in the Arabian Gulf, Tribal Modern: Branding New Nations in the Arab Gulf, came out in 2014 from California University Press. Her latest book dealing with the Art of Syrian Revolution 2011 - 2016 is entitled Dancing in Damascus: Creativity, Resilience, and the Syrian Revolution [Routledge 2016].

She has co-edited several volumes, including Opening the Gates. A Century of Arab Feminist Writing (1990/ 2005 with Margot Badran); Gendering War Talk (1993 with Angela Woollacott); Blood into Ink: 20th Century South Asian and Middle Eastern Women Write War (1994 with Roshni Rustomji); Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop (2005 with Bruce Lawrence); Mediterranean Passages: from Dido to Derrida (2008 with Erdag Goknar and Grant Parker).

She has also published a novel, Hayati, My Life (2000). Three of her books (Women Claim Islam; Women and the War Story and The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual:  Yahya Haqqi) were named Choice Outstanding Academic Books. Several books have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French and German.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  2204 Erwin Road Room 203, Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708-0414
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:

Office Hours:

On Fall Leave

Ph.D.University of Oxford (United Kingdom)1980
D.Phil.Oxford University1980
M.A.University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)1971

Research Interests: 20th Century, Criticism, Feminist Theory, Comp Lit, and Arabic

Current projects: "The Tribal Modern in the Arabian Gulf: the Past as Future. An examination of the production of an ultramodern cosmopolitanism with tribal values."

Arab cultural studies

Areas of Interest:

Arab world


Arab culture • gender • Islam • Religion

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Basima Shaheen  
  • Anna Levett  
  • Louis Yako  
  • • Yaqeen Fouad  
  • Yasmine Khayyat  
  • SherAli Tareen “Arabic Literature, Religion and Innovation” 2009 MA  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Cooke, M, The Daughter of Isis at Duke University, Journal of Middle East Women'S Studies, vol. 18 no. 1 (March, 2022), pp. 150-155 [doi]
  2. Cooke, M, Introduction, Journal of Middle East Women'S Studies, vol. 18 no. 1 (March, 2022), pp. 147-149 [doi]
  3. Cooke, M, Nazira Zeineddine: a jovem e os xeiques, Sociologias, vol. 24 no. 61 (January, 2022), pp. 116-139 [doi]
  4. Cooke, M, Novel Traces of the Qur'an?, Novel a Forum on Fiction, vol. 54 no. 3 (November, 2021), pp. 467-469, Duke University Press [doi]
  5. Cooke, M, Intelligent souls? Feminist orientalism in eighteenth-century English literature, Journal of Middle East Women'S Studies, vol. 17 no. 2 (July, 2021), pp. 271-273 [doi]

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