About My Work

Nadine (left) Johnaé Strong (middle) and Souzan Naser (right), co-organizers of the collective, Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS)

Nadine (left) Johnaé Strong (middle) and Souzan Naser (right), co-organizers of the collective, Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS)

I co-create liberated social movements through connection, collaboration, and love.

I have been manifesting my purpose on this planet as an author, activist, public speaker, trainer, and professor for the past 25 years. I realize that building together across ideas, communities, and movements is the only way towards freedom and abundance.

I am a public scholar, author, and teacher from Al-Salt, Jordan and the Bay Area of California. I am the founder of Liberate Your Research Workshops and a Professor at the University of Illinois in the Gender and Women's Studies and Global Asian Studies Programs. I have been co-creating connections, research, and activism among radical scholars and social movements for the past 25 years.

I am the author/co-author of five books, an expert author for the United Nations; co-founder of the organization Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity; co-author of the forthcoming book, *Pedagogies of the Radical Mother* (Haymarket Press); and founder of programs such as the Arab and Muslim American Studies Program at the University of Michigan and the Arab American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois. My work has been recognized through awards such as the American Studies Association Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Lifetime Achievement Prize and the YWCA’s Y-Women's Leadership Award.

About My Work

I have developed all of my research through relationships based upon long-term relationship building, mutual trust, and accountability with social movements. My current research is embedded within the work of the collective, Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity.

Our goal is to amplify the struggles and visions of four groups of people who are mothering on the front-lines of social movements striving for prison abolition; Palestinian liberation; the decolonization of Native land; and immigration justice. 

My life's work in 6-minutes

6-minute segment in the 2022 Spring YWomen Film, produced by Susan Hope Engel as part of the YWCA YWomen Leadership Celebration. Nadine Naber is a 2022 Recipient of the YWomen Leadership Award.

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Systemic violence breaks us and our scholarship by forcing us to live and work within white supremacist, individualist, and exploitative environments.

My Mission

My journey to heal myself from systemic violence and academic oppression inspired me to integrate collective healing practices into efforts towards building thriving BIPOC communities, research, and social movements. When I realized I could take responsibility for the way I react to oppression, I became increasingly surrounded by abundant possibilities for living out my full purpose on this planet.

While I strive to align my emotions with my desire to live in harmony with who I am and our intergenerational and collective power, I aim to contribute to the abolition of oppressive systems and to expand our capacity for radical self love, collective healing and liberation. I do this through my Liberate Your Research workshops and my writing, public speaking, activism, and teaching on the topics of racial justice; gender justice; women and queer of color feminisms; Arab and Muslim feminisms; Arab Americans; Muslim Americans; and BIPOC-based activism and solidarity.

Liberate Your Research Workshops

My Liberate Your Research workshops train radical scholars and activists in liberating our theories and methods from the constraints of the academic and non-profit industrial complexes. My workshops transform the fear and anxiety that often overpowers writing, theory-making, and activism into a well of abundance, radical self/collective love, and writing prosperity. I developed Liberate Your Research after junior feminist scholars in the Arab region who conduct research on gender violence; training journalists; teaching radical feminist of color methodologies to graduate students and junior faculty for over twenty-years on college campuses; and studying the possibilities of social-movement led research for over twenty years.


I write regular OpEds and news articles for outlets like Truthout, Jacobin, and Jadaliyya. I am a leading voice for the Chicago Reporter, and I have been recognized as an exceptional leader by the OpEd project.

Palestinian Feminists Are Resisting Colonization by Fighting Sexual Violence

July 15, 2021

[TRUTHOUT.org] Earlier this summer, several news outlets reported that the Palestinian American Community Center (PACC) in New Jersey, where Palestinian Americans gather for community organizing, civic engagement and humanitarian relief efforts was “bombarded with threats for 7 hours.”

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Palestinian Feminists Are Resisting Colonization by Fighting Sexual Violence

July 15, 2021

Originally published in Truthout here Earlier this summer, several news […]

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U.S. Continues To Colonize

July 7, 2021

[THE CHICAGO REPORTER] For centuries, Black and Indigenous writers have established loud and clear the great paradox of the Fourth of July: the U.S.’ purported democracy was founded on slavery and genocide. We must also remember that since July 4, 1776, the U.S. has not only continued its settler-colonial project and its containment of Black people within U.S. borders, but it has also expanded its colonial aspirations across the globe. One only needs to recall that the turn of the 20th century “independence” entailed the colonization of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, and Hawaii.

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Expanding Solidarity with the Arab Region Will Strengthen Prison Abolition

June 10, 2021

Consensus is growing across U.S. social movements that people living in the U.S. have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with Palestinian liberation due to Washington providing Israel with $3.8 billion in annual military aid. Union teachers are preparing votes in solidarity with the Palestinian people and polls indicate a shift in thinking, particularly on the left and with young people and BIPOC communities.

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Blatant Racism Against Muslims Is Still With Us

May 26, 2021

The Chicago Reporter—Shortly after his inauguration, President Joe Biden reversed former President’s Donald Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban, stating those actions are a stain on our national conscience.” This stance aligns with that of the tens of thousands of protesters who, at the time the first Muslim Travel Ban was enacted in January 2017, took to the streets and to airports across the country with slogans such as, “We are all Immigrants,” “Standing with Muslims against Islamophobia,” and “Stop Hatred against Muslims.” To be sure, the Muslim Travel Ban is a racist policy. It seeks to keep out or deport people perceived to be Muslim based upon the racist assumption that “they” are violent potential terrorist enemies of the U.S. nation. The ban was an executive order that prevented individuals from primarily Muslim countries, and later, from many African countries, from entering the United States.

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We Will Not Stop Talking About Palestine

May 26, 2021

Chicago Reporter—Moments after President Biden thanked his team for their efforts in “bringing about a cease-fire” (that was actually brought about by Palestinian resistance), the social media posts of Palestinian and Arab American progressives across the U.S. echoed a similar sentiment: “We will not stop talking about Palestine just because a cease-fire was announced.” Two assumptions underpin this sentiment. First, for Arab Americans, the concept of “cease-fire” is meaningless as long as Israel continues colonizing Palestine. As we have learned from history, after every cease-fire, Israel has continued to expand its borders far beyond the areas of land it confiscated from Palestinians since 1947 by expelling and dispossessing Palestinians from their homes, as we saw in Sheikh Jarrah and intentionally killing Palestinians en masse. Second, Arab Americans are exceptionally aware that the struggle over Palestine is a battle over narratives. In other words, a persistent pro-Israeli doctrine stifles criticism of Israel in nearly every sector of public debate from the corporate media, to social media, education, and the non-profit industry. As Israel and the U.S. have institutionalized the idea of Israel as the victim, killing Palestinians only out of self-defense, Palestinian and Arab American social movement agendas have prioritized breaking the silence, shifting the narrative, and continuing to talk about Palestine.

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We Must Commit Ourselves to Long-Term Solidarity With Palestinian Liberation

May 25, 2021

TRUTHOUT—As many sectors of our society are celebrating the “ceasefire” between Palestine and Israel, a chorus of Palestinian voices are blasting across social media echoing a shared consciousness that this ceasefire could never be enough. It is not only recent events but what Palestinian historian Sherene Seikaly explains as the century-long struggle to remain on one’s land in the face of persistent ethnic cleansing that inspires this sentiment.

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Let’s Celebrate Mothers Who Are Fighting to Set Their Loved Ones Free

May 9, 2021

TRUTHOUT—Now is the time for healing the many divine forms of the feminine, led by Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color (BIPOC), mothers and the stewards of our next generations. As the world is coming face to face with the truth of our mortality through COVID-19, intensified authoritarianism, land confiscation, border control and mass incarceration, anyone who parents will experience Mother’s Day in struggle. Indeed, mother-survivors of victims of police violence, torture, deportation, incarceration and war have walked this road for decades.

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University Needs To Do Better When Identifying Race

May 5, 2021

Chicago Reporter—After decades of institutionalized racism against people perceived to be Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim in the U.S., it is a great disappointment that the University of Illinois continues to categorize Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) students as racially white in data, surveys, and university records. These populations face significant levels of racism across the U.S., in the state of Illinois, and on college campuses. To fight racism and discrimination and quantify it, this group must have its own designation separate from white.

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Podcast & Radio

New study examines everyday life Chicago area Arab Americans

[March 3, 2021] A new study examines everyday life and challenges of Chicago area Arab Americans and explores why Arab Americans do not have a racial category of their own. The study from UIC looks at Arab Americans in the Chicago area. One finding is that many Arab Americans would like to be able to check something other than “white” on official forms. Join guest Nadine Nader on this segment.

Liberate Your Research

[March 3, 2021] This episode discusses Nadine Naber’s “Liberate Your Research” workshop which helps radical feminist scholars claim and name their/our core beliefs, while achieving writing and research prosperity and surviving and thriving in and beyond the academic industrial complex. The episode shares the theoretical, methodological, pedagogical, and political frameworks that inspired Nadine Naber to develop this workshop, which teaches radical thinkers how to align their research with their commitments to social transformation.

Beyond the Arab Muslim Ban: Feminist Futures and Joint Struggle

[April 19, 2017] The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and The Arab-American Education Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History at the University of Houston held the Nijad and Zeina Fares Arab-American Educational Foundation Annual Distinguished Lecture in Modern Arab Studies on March 21, 2017, at the University of Houston. The lecture was titled "Beyond the Arab Muslim Ban: Feminist Futures and Joint Struggle", and the speaker was Professor Nadine Naber.


'White But Not Quite': A History of the Arabs in America

[Nov 12, 2015] Arabiyaat briefly explores the history of Arabs in America with guest Nadine Naber, author of “Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism.” The episode begins with reflections by Linda and Souraya followed by an interview with Dr. Nadine Naber. She puts this largely unknown history of the Arab migrants to America became an “invisible” community and how that invisibility has led to the ambiguous place Arabs hold in the US today.

Filipino Domestic Workers in Egypt and Israel

[March 23, 2014] The show will feature an interview with scholars Nadine Naber and Allan Punzalan Isaac on the situation of Filipino migrant domestic workers in Israel and Egypt. Nadine Naber is an Arab American feminist anthropologist who recently spent six months on research leave in Cairo where she engaged with Filipina domestic workers and nannies in the context of an elite sports club. Allan Isaac is a Filipino American literary and cultural critic who has recently been studying queer Filipino caregivers in Israel as cabaret performers as well as domestic health workers.

Women's Magazine: Labor Day Focus on Immigrant Women

[Sept 1, 2014] We talk with Professor Nadine Naber, author of Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics and Activism, about the case against Chicago feminist community leader Rasmea Odeh.  A torture survivor, Odeh now faces ten years in U.S. prison and loss of her citizenship because of her conviction by an Israeli military court 40 years ago.  Then, author Sheila Bapat speaks about domestic worker organizing in the U.S. and the history of U.S. policy toward domestic labor.


Recorded Lectures (Samples)

AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center

[March 12, 2021] Nadine Naber, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Global Asian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaks on Arab American Studies, Palestine, and the relationship with Asian American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and cross-movement building.

For more information, including booking details, visit my speaking page.

Books and Book-Length Reports

Captions are some of the most read copy on your website.

Pedagogies of the Radical Mother: Chicagoland’s Mother-Activists on Policing, Immigration, and War.

Naber, Nadine.  Pedagogies of the Radical Mother: Chicagoland’s Mother-Activists on Policing, Immigration, and War. Under Contract, Haymarket Press, Chicago.

The Paradox of Social Development: Expert Report on the Social Pillars of Sustainable Development

Naber, Nadine. The Paradox of Social Development: Expert Report on the Social Pillars of Sustainable Development. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA). April (2015): 1-42. 

Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism

Naber, Nadine. Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2012.

Co-edited Books

Towards the Sun

Co-edited with the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, with Nadine Naber, Towards the Sun. Washington, DC: Tadween Publishing, A subsidiary of the Arab Studies Institute, 2018.

Arab & Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, & Belonging

Abdulhadi, Rabab, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber, eds. Arab & Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, & Belonging. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2010.

Race and Arab Americans before and after 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects

Jamal, Amaney A, and Nadine Naber, eds. Race and Arab Americans before and after 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2007.

The Color of Violence

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence with Nadine Naber, co-editor. The Color of Violence. New York, NY: South End Press, 2007. 

            Reprinted by Duke University Press, 2016.


Journal Articles

Naber, Nadine, and Clarissa Rojas. “Genocide and ‘U.S.’ Domination ≠ Liberation, Only We Can Liberate Ourselves: Toward an Anti-Imperialist Abolitionist Feminism.” Forthcoming, in a collection of abolition feminisms co-edited by Abolition Collective, Alisa Bierria, Jakeya Caruthers, and Brooke Lober. Haymarket Press. 

Naber, Nadine, Johnáe Strong, and Souzan Naser. “Radical Mothering for the Purpose of Abolition.” Forthcoming, in a collection of abolition feminisms co-edited by Abolition Collective, Alisa Bierria, Jakeya Caruthers, and Brooke Lober. Haymarket Press.

Naber, Nadine. Epilogue, special issue on Transnational Feminist Approaches to Anti-Muslim Racism. Forthcoming. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism.

Naber, Nadine. “The Radical Potential of Mothering during the Egyptian Revolution.” Feminist Studies 47, no. 1 (2021): 62-93. 

Kaedbey, Deema, and Nadine Naber. “Reflections on Feminist Interventions within the 2015 Anticorruption Protests in Lebanon.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 18, no. 2 (2019): 457-470.

Naber, Nadine. “‘The U.S. and Israel Make the Connections for Us’: Anti-Imperialism and Black-Palestinian Solidarity.” Critical Ethnic Studies Journal 3, no. 2 (2017): 15-30.

Naber, Nadine and Dalia Abdelhameed. “Attacks on Feminists in Egypt: The Militarization of Public Space and Accountable Solidarity.” Feminist Studies 42, no. 2 (2016): 520-527.

Naber, Nadine. "Arab and Black Feminisms. Joint Struggle and anti-Imperialist Activism." In Departures in Qualitative Research5, no. 3 (2016): 116-125.

Naber, Nadine and Atef Said. The Cry for Human Rights: Violence, Transition, and the Egyptian Revolution.” Humanity 7, no. 1 (2016): 71-90.

Naber, Nadine. “Imperial Whiteness and the Diasporas of Empire.” American Quarterly 66, no. 4 (2014): 1107-1115. 

Naber, Nadine and Zeina Zaatari. “Reframing the War on Terror: Feminist and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer activism in the 2006 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon.” Cultural Dynamics 26, no. 1 (2014): 91-111.

Naber, Nadine. “Sondra Hale’s Ethnographic Accountability.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 10, no. 1 (2013): 128-132. 

Naber, Nadine. “Transnational Families Under Siege: Lebanese in Dearborn, Michigan, and the 2006 War on Lebanon.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 5, no. 3 (2009): 145-174. 

Naber, Nadine. “The Rules of Forced Engagement:  Race, Gender, and the Culture of Fear among Arab Immigrants in San Francisco Post-9/11.” Journal of Cultural Dynamics 18, no. 3 (2006):  235-267.

Naber, Nadine. “Arab American Femininities:  Beyond Arab Virgin/American(ized) Whore.” Journal of Feminist Studies 32 no. 1 (2005):  87-111. 

Reprinted in Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, 118-125. Edited by Abby Ferber, Kimberly Holcomb, and Tre Wentling. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005. 

Reprinted in Doing Gender Diversity: Reading in Theory and Real-World Experience, 245-262. Edited by Rebecca Plante and Lis Maurer. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 2009. 

Naber, Nadine. “Muslim First-Arab Second: A Strategic Politics of Race and Gender.” The Muslim World 95, no. 4 (2005): 479-496.

Blackwell, Maylei and Nadine Naber. “Intersectionality in an Era of Globalization: The Impact of the World Conference Against Racism on Transnational Feminist Practice (Report).” Meridians: A Journal: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 2 no. 2 (2003): 237-248. 

Translated and printed as “Encontrando os feminismos latinoamericanos e caribenhos.” Revista Estudos Feministas 11 no. 2 (July-December 2002): 541-575.

Naber, Nadine. “Raise Up Your Voices So That We Can Hear You: Arab and Arab American Transnational Feminist Practices.” Tiyba: A Theoretical Feminist Journal. January (2003): 33-54.

Translated into Arabic: Ausrukhna kay narakun: Hawla al-mumarasat alnasawiya al-arabiya wal-arabiya al amriykiya muta’adedat al-qawmiya.

Naber, Nadine. “So Our History Doesn't Become Your Future: The Local and Global Politics of Coalition Building Post September 11th.” Journal of Asian American Studies 5, no. 3 (2002): 217-242.

Naber, Nadine. “Ambiguous Insiders: An Investigation of Arab American Invisibility.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 23, no. 1 (2000): 37-61.

Book Chapters

Naber, Nadine. “The Labor Strikes That Catalyzed the Revolution in Egypt.” In Women Rising, 28-39. Edited by Mounira Charrad and Rita Stephan. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2020.

Naber, Nadine. “Acculturation Paradigms to Feminist Intersectionality Paradigms in Arab American Families.” In Arab Family Studies: Critical Reviews, 369-386. Edited by Suad Joseph. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2018.

Naber, Nadine. “Diasporas of Empire: Arab Americans and the Gendered Reverberations of War.” In At the Limits of Justice” Women of Colour on Terror, 191-214. Edited by Suvendrini Perera and Sherene Razack. Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 2014.

Naber, Nadine. “What the Egyptian Revolution Informs Us about Gender and Women’s 

Liberation.” Published in Arabic in the book, The Revolutions of Arab Dignity: Ideas beyond Neoliberalism. Cairo: Arab Forum for Alternatives, 2013.

Naber, Nadine and Matthew Stiffler. “Maronite Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Sunni Muslims from the Arab Region: Between Empire, Racialization, and Assimilation.” In Mis-Reading America: Scriptures and Difference, 208-272. Edited by Vincent Wimbush. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013.  

Abdulhadi, Rabab, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber. “Arab and Arab American Feminisms: An Introduction.” In Arab and Arab American Feminism, 1-35. Edited by Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2010.

Naber, Nadine. “Beyond Orientalist and Anti-Orientalist Feminisms.” In Arab and Arab American Feminisms, 175-215. Edited by Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2010.

Naber, Nadine. “Arab Americans and U.S. Racial Formations.” In Race and Arab Americans before and after September 11th, 1-45. Edited by Amaney Jamal and Nadine Naber. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2007.

Naber, Nadine. “Look, Mohammed the Terrorist is Coming: Cultural Based Racism, Nation Based Racism and the Intersectionality of Oppressions after 9/11.” In Race and Arab Americans before and after September 11th, 276-304. Edited by Amaney Jamal and Nadine Naber. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2007.