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Nadia Abu El-Haj

Professor of Anthropology

Professor Nadia Abu El-Haj joined Barnard’s Department of Anthropology in 2002. In addition to her teaching duties in Anthropology, she is affiliated with Barnard's Human Rights Studies Program. Prior to joining the faculty of Barnard, Professor Abu El-Haj was a faculty member in the Anthropology Department at the University of Chicago. She has held fellowships at Harvard University's Academy for International and Area Studies, the University of Pennsylvania Mellon Program, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and is a former Fulbright Fellow. Her research and scholarship have been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Professor Abu El-Haj's research examines the relationship between scientific knowledge and the making of social imaginations and political orders. She seeks to specify the ways in which particular historical sciences generate facts and to understand how those facts circulate in wider social worlds, helping to fashion the cultural understandings, political possibilities, and "common-sense" assumptions that have been central to making of particular colonial regimes, national cultures, and diasporic identities.


"The Genetic Reinscription of Race," Annual Review of Anthropology, 2007.

"Rethinking Genetic Geneaology: A Response to Stephan Palmié," American Ethnologist Vol. 34, No. 2(2007): 223-227.

"Edward Said and the Political Present," American Ethnologist Vol. 32, No. 4 (2005): 538-555.

Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). [Winner of the Middle East Studies Association's Albert Hourani Annual Book Award, 2002.]


(212) 854-7628


BA, Bryn Mawr College
PhD, Duke University