Attiya Ahmad

Headshot of Attiya Ahmad

Attiya Ahmad

Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs

Full-time Faculty

Department: Institute for Middle East Studies


Email: Attiya Ahmad
Office Phone: 202-994-4251

Dr. Attiya Ahmad is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at The George Washington University (Washington DC, USA). Broadly conceived, her research focuses on the gendered interrelation of Islamic reform movements and political economic processes spanning the Middle East and South Asia, in particular, the greater Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean regions.  Dr. Ahmad is currently working on a project focusing on the development of global halal tourism networks.   She is the author of Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait (Duke Press, 2017), and is on the editorial boards of Feminist Studies, and Anthropological Quarterly.

Gender and feminist studies; Islam and Muslim societies; transnationalism and globalization; migration and diaspora studies; tourism studies; political economy; Middle East and South Asia studies

ACLS/LUCE Fellowship in Religion, Journalism and International Affairs, In Residence at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, Columbia University (New York, USA), 2017-2018
Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University (Palo Alto, USA), 2014-2015
Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey), 2015
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University (Doha, Qatar), 2009-2010
  • Global Halal Tourism Networks
  • Transnational labour migration and religious movements in the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Ph.D. 2009, Duke University

M.A. 2005, Duke University

B.A. Hons 2000, University of Toronto

Anth 1002 (old 002): Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 2501 (121): Anthropology of Gender: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Anth 6391 (251): Anthropology of Religious Movements
Anth 6501 (257): Gender and Sexuality

2017. Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
2017. Ahmad, A "Are They Married?: Muslim Marriages and the Interrelationship Between Transnationalism and Ethnonationalism in the Gulf," Journal of Middle East Womens' Studies 13 (1): 3-24.
2013  Navarro, T., B. Williams, and A. Ahmad. "Sitting at the kitchen table: Fieldnotes from women of color in anthropology," Cultural Anthropology 28(3): 443-463.
2012  Ahmad, A. “Labour’s limits: Foreign residents in the Gulf.”  In M. Kamrav and Z. Babar, eds., Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf. New York: Columbia University Press.
2012  Ahmad, A. “Cosmopolitan Islam in a diasporic space: Foreign resident Muslim women’s halaqa in Kuwait.” In F. Osella and C. Osella, eds., Islamic Reform in South Asia.  Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
2010  Ahmad, A. “Explanation is not the point: South Asian migrant domestic workers' newfound Islamic pieties in Kuwait,” Asian and Pacific Journal of Anthropology 11(3-4):  293-310. Reprinted in P. Werbner and M. Johnson, eds., Diasporic Encounters, Sacred Journeys: Ritual, Normativity and the Religious Imagination among International Asian Migrant Women. Routledge, 2011.
2009  Ahmad, A. “Transnational actors and state stirrings: Kuwait’s migrant domestic work sector.” In Migration and the Gulf. Washington, DC: Middle East Institute.