March 2, 2018 at the National Press Club, Washington, DC
"So what explains the special relationship if there is no strategic or moral imperative and if most Americans do not favor it? 
Our answer, of course, is the lobby." - John Mearsheimer

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi is the director and senior scholar in the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas; associate professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies; and affiliated faculty in Sexuality Studies graduate program at San Francisco State University. She is a co-founder and editorial board member of the Islamophobia Studies Journal for which she is co-editing the forthcoming special issue on “Gender, Sexuality and Racism.” She is co-author of Mobilizing Democracy: Changing U.S. Policy in the Middle East; and co-editor of Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging, winner of the 2012 National Arab American non-fiction Book Award; American Quarterly Forum on Palestine and American Studies (2015); and a special issue of MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies. Her work has appeared in 7 languages (Arabic, English, Farsi, French, German, Italian and Spanish in academic journals (International Feminist Journal of Politics; Gender and Society; Radical History Review; Peace Review; and Journal of Women's History); anthologies (This Bridge We Call Home; New World Coming: The 1960s and the Shaping of Global Consciousness; Shifting Borders: American in the Middle East/North Africa; We Will Not Be Silenced: The Academic Repression of Israel's Critics; Righting Injustice: The Case for the Academic Boycott of Israel; and With Stones in Our Hands: Reflections on Racism, Muslims and Empire); social media outlets (Mondoweiss, Al-Shabaka, Jadaliyya); and newspapers and magazines (The Guardian, Al-Fajr; Womanews; Palestine Focus; Voice of Palestinian Women; Christianity and Crisis; Falasteen Al-Thahwra; Al-Hadaf; and Al-Hurriyah).

Professor Abdulhadi serves on the Board of the Consortium de Recherche Inter et Transdisciplinaire en Proche et Moyen-Orient; the International Advisory Board of World Congress of Middle East Studies; and as a policy Advisor of Al-Shabaka. She was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Women’s Studies at Birzeit University (Birzeit. Palestine); the Afro-Middle East Center (Johannesburg, South Africa); the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, Aix-Marseille University and by Museum of the Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean (Marseille, Francs); the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) and the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS (London, England). She received her BA (Suma Cum Laude from Hunter College-City University of New York (Special Honors Curriculum, Women’s Studies and Sociology) and her MA, MPhil and PhD (sociology) from Yale University.

She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Sterling Fellowship, Phi Beta Kappa, Yale’s Prize Teaching Fellowship; the Teaching Excellence Award of the American University in Cairo; the New Century Scholarship of the Fulbright Commission and honored by several Arab and Muslim organizations, including the Courage Award by American Muslims for Palestine (Chicago, U.S.) and appreciation awards by the Arab Women’s Feminist Union (Nablus, Palestine) and the Muslim Youth Movement in Durban, South Africa.

Before joining SFSU, she served as the first director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. Dr. Abdulhadi taught at 8 transnational sites of higher education including Yale University; CUNY Hunter College; the American University in Cairo (AUC); and Bir Zeit University, Palestine.

At SFSU, she initiated and developed the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Studies program, the only intellectual and research program of its kind in the world. AMED Studies has inaugurated the Edward Said Scholarship and the first collaborative agreement between SFSU and An-Najah National University, the premiere Palestinian academic institution of higher education. This is the first and only agreement SFSU has with any site in Arab and Muslim communities worldwide. AMED Studies academic program offers such courses as Palestine, Islamophobia, Civil Liberties of Arabs and Muslims post 9/11/2001; Edward Said; Arab and Arab American Feminisms; Comparative Border Studies: Palestine and Mexico; Queer Arab Diasporas; and Gender and Modernity in Arab and Muslim Communities. Dr. Abdulhadi is also the faculty advisor of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Muslim Women Student Association (MWSA). She also advises graduate and undergraduate students in academic and advocacy concerns. As a result of her scholarship and pedagogy as well as her advocacy, Dr. Abdulhadi has been targeted by the Israel lobby industry in a McCarthyist style campaign to silence her; dismantle the AMED Studies program and muzzle student activism at SFSU and other U.S. university campuses. Most recently she is the only professor named in a lawsuit against SFSSU and CSU administrators and staff. The case, filed by The Lawfare Project, will be dismissed, according to federal judge William H. Orrick, who held a hearing on the case on November 8.

She is currently leading an international multiyear project on “Teaching Palestine: Pedagogical Praxis and the Indivisibility of Justice” (https://amed.sfsu.edu/content/news-and-events), a multi-site and multi-year scholarly and curricular project that brings together AMED Studies with universities in Palestine and around the world, including an international conference and delegation in March 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of Palestinian Nakba and the 50th anniversary of the SFSU student strike that led to the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies and inspired the decolonization of the curriculum.

Professor Abdulhadi is a public intellectual who is equally committed to the principle of the indivisibility of justice. She co-founded the California Scholars for Academic Freedom, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Feminists for Justice in/for Palestine, and has co-organized BDS campaigns in the Peace and Justice Studies Association and the National Women’s Studies Association. She co-founded several community organizations such as the U.S. Branch of the General Union of Palestine Students; Union of Palestinian Women’s Associations in North America, and the Palestine Solidarity Committee. She was the first Arab or Muslim to be elected to the Board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She served on the Board of the Brecht Forum; co-Chaired the Third World Coalition of the American Friends Service Committee, and initiated and co-organized the 1985 national 26-city U.S. tour on “Israel and South Africa: The Apartheid Connection?” She has been actively involved in leading Palestinian support for Idle No More, Justice for Michael Brown, the Movement for Black Lives, and Standing Rock. She co-organized and led the first Indigenous and Women of Color Feminist Delegation to Palestine and has since led other delegations, such as the 2014 Academic and Labor Delegation and the 2016 U.S. Prisoner, Labor and Academic Delegation. In 2016-2017, she was a member of and U.S. coordinator for the International Palestinian Campaign to commemorate the Balfour Declaration.