Attiya Ahmad

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Attiya Ahmad

Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs (she/her/hers)


Email: Attiya Ahmad

Dr. Attiya Ahmad is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs. 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 examining the development of global halal tourism networks.

Henry Luce/American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs, 2017. In Residence at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, Columbia University (New York, USA), 2017-18.

NSF Cultural Anthropology Senior Research Grant, 2017-2019.

GW Dean's Research Chair Award, 2017-2020.

Visiting Scholar, Department of Sociology, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey), 2015.

Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, 2014-15.

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

  • Global halal tourism networks
  • Transnational labour migration and religious movements in the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Anth 1002: Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 2501: Anthropology of Gender: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Anth 3531: Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 6391: Anthropology of Religious Movements
Anth 6501: Gender and Sexuality


2017  Ahmad, A. Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work and South Asian Migrant Women in KuwaitDurham, 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 Women's 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, (PDF)" 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.

Ph.D. 2009, Duke University
M.A. 2005, Duke University
B.A. Hons 2000, University of Toronto