Department of Government
Additional Positions at AUAssociate Professor
Co-Director, Middle East Studies@AU
Dr. Singerman is an Associate Professor and comparativist whose research interests focus on political change from below, particularly in the Middle East, and more specifically Egypt. Her work examines the formal and informal side of politics, gender, social movements, globalization, public space, protest, and urban politics. Her most recent edited books are Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity, and Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East.
Professor Singerman is also the Co-Director and Co-Founder of Middle East Studies @ American University.
DegreesPh.D. Princeton University
M.A. Princeton University
B.A. Princeton University
Favorite Spot on Campus:My office
Languages Spoken:Arabic (Egyptian Colloquial)
- SPA - Government
- Ward - 242
FOR THE MEDIA
To request an interview for a
news story, call AU Communications
at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Comparative politics, Middle East and Egyptian politics, gender and politics in the Middle East, and scholarship on informal politics, urban politics, new urbanism, political participation, marriage, personal status law, youth, and social movements
- Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity (ed. American University in Cairo Press, 2009, paperback 2011)
- Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East (ed. American University in Cairo Press, 2006 with Paul Amar),
- Avenues of Participation: Family, Politics, and Networks in Urban Quarters of Cairo (Princeton University Press, 1995; American University in Cairo Press, 1997, Egyptian edition.)
- Development, Change, and Gender in Cairo: A View from the Household (ed., Indiana University Press, 1996 with Homa Hoodfar).
Journal Articles/Book Chapters/Working Papers:
- “Restoring the Family to Civil Society: Lessons from Egypt.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 2:1 (Winter 2006): 1-32.
"I’aada al-Usr li-Mujtama’a al-Madani: Duruus min Masr." in Nahwa Diraasa Al-Nu'a fi Al-'Alum Al-Siyaasiya [“Restoring the Family to Civil Society: Lessons From Egypt,” Reader on Gender and Political Science, IN ARABIC], Mervat Hatem, ed., pp. 247-267, Cairo: Women and Memory Forum, 2010.
- "Gender and Politics," in Politics and Society of the Contemporary Middle East, Michele Penner Angrist, ed., pp. 155-173, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010.
- “The Economic Imperatives of Marriage: Emerging Practices and Identities among Youth in the Middle East.” Middle East Youth Initiative Working Paper. Wolfensohn Center for Development, The Brookings Institution, No. 6, September, 2007. Washington, D.C.
- "Contesting Myths, Critiquing Cosmopolitanism, and Creating the Cairo School of Urban Studies.” In Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture and Urban Space in the New Middle East, Diane Singerman and Paul Amar, eds, 1-43. American University in Cairo Press, 2006 (Paul Amar, co-author).
- “Cairo Cosmopolitan: Citizenship, Urban Space, Publics, and Inequality.” In Cities of the South: Citizenship and Exclusion in the 21st Century, Barbara Drieskens, Franck Mermier, and Heiko Wimmen, eds. Al-Saqi Books. London. August 2007.
- “Rewriting Divorce in Egypt: Reclaiming Islam, Legal Activism, and Coalition Politics.” In Remaking Muslim Politics: Pluralism, Contestation, Democratization , Robert Hefner, ed., 161-188. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.
- “The Networked World of Islamist Social Movements.” In Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach, Quintann Wiktorowicz, ed., 143-163. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2004.
- “The Politics of Emergency Rule in Egypt.” Current History 101 (January 2002): 29-35.
- “The Cost of Marriage in Egypt: A Hidden Variable in the New Arab Demography and Poverty Research.” Special Edition on “The New Arab Family,” Nick Hopkins, ed. Cairo Papers in the Social Sciences, 24 Spring 2001, 80-116. Co-authored with Dr. Barbara Ibrahim [issued in 2003].
- "Women, Networks, and the State." In "Gender, Politics, and the State: What do Middle Eastern Women Want?" Augustus Richard Norton, et. al., Middle East Policy. 3 (Summer 1997): 155-189.
- "Politics at the Household Level in a Popular Quarter of Cairo.” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, 13 (Summer 1990).
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- SPA Faculty Development Award, 2007-2009
- MEAwards Program Grant, “The Cost of Marriage in Egypt.” The Population Council, Cairo, Egypt. 2000-2002.
- American University Senate Research Awards Program. "The Cost of Marriage in Egypt: Measurement Conventions, Understanding of Poverty, and Changing Social and Demographic Norms." 2000-2001.
- American University Research Award, "A Reading of the Siege of Imbaba: Informality, Islamists, and State-Society Relations in Egypt," 1997-1998.
- Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences, The Middle East Studies Association of North America, November 1990. Awarded to the best dissertation in the social sciences in Middle East studies.
- Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad, Cairo, Egypt, 1985-1986.
- Social Science Research Council Award for Dissertation Research, 1985-1987.
Introduction to Comparative Politics in Fall 2006 focused on a student-led project on the genocide in Darfur. The class created two websites:
This website was created by undergraduate and graduate students in a small seminar on Gender and Politics in the Middle East, taught in spring 2011. This course explored the ways in which the social, political, and cultural construction of sexual difference influences the nature and practice of political life in the Middle East. It examined both theoretically and empirically the ways in which power is gendered and how gender has served as a basis for political organization, the distribution of power, and the boundaries of public life (see the class syllabus.) After examining relevant feminist theory and other theoretical lenses into these issues, the last month of the course focused directly on the complex situation of gender and politics in Afghanistan - which was a geographic stretch for the course.
Student websites created in Middle East and gender/Middle East classes:
- Media and the Iranian Post-Islamic Movement
- The Gulf Women's Diwaniya
- Implementing Gender Quotas: Spotlight on Sudan
- Women and the Internet in Iran
Fall 2011: Media/Web projects from my Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences: Egyptian Politics, Protest, & Change?
The Cairo Story: Non-Violent Resistance in the 2011 Egyptian Uprising, created by Sarah Palazzolo, American University Class of 2016.
Tweeting Egypt: The Social Media of the Egyptian Uprising, created by Sarah Parnass, American University Class of 2012.
Media related to project on marriage costs in the Middle East:
- The Economic Imperatives of Marriage: Emerging Practices and Identities among Youth in the Middle East.” Middle East Youth Initiative Working Paper; Wolfensohn Center for Development, The Brookings Institution, No. 6, September, 2007; Washington, D.C.
- Michael Slackman, Stifled, Egypt's Young Turn to Islamic Fervor. The New York Times, 17 February 2008. A1. Interviewed for the article and series by Michael Slackman.
- Understanding the Marriage Imperative.” February 2008, online video and transcript.
- Thirty and Single: Coping With Delayed Marriage.20 February 2008.
Area of Expertise: Comparative politics, Middle East politics, Urbanism in the Middle East, youth in the Middle East, gender politics, marriage and its financial costs in the Middle East, the informal economy, economic and political development, Islamist activism, religion and politics, social movements, studies of resistance; can speak Arabic
Additional Information: Diane Singerman's research interests focus on political change from below, particularly in the Middle East, and more specifically Egypt. Her work examines the formal and informal side of politics, gender, social movements, globalization, public space, and urban politics. Her most recent edited book is Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space and Global Modernity and Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East.
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.
AU News and Achievements
Ford Foundation Grant Supports Singerman’s Egypt Study
SPA professor has secured $250,000 to study alternative models of housing and urban development....
”Vlogs” Bring Middle Eastern Scholars' Work to Greater Audiences
SPA Associate Professor Diane Singerman is pioneering a multifaceted, multimedia program to bring diverse ...