miriam cooke

miriam cooke

Braxton Craven Professor Emerita of Arab Cultures

External address: 
2204 Erwin Road Room 203, Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708-0414
Internal office address: 
Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708-0414
(919) 684-2312


miriam cooke is Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures at Duke University. She has been a visiting professor in Tunisia, Romania, Indonesia, Qatar and Alliance of Civilizations Institute in Istanbul. She serves on several international advisory boards, including academic journals and institutions. Since coming to Duke University she has taught Arabic language and a wide variety of courses on Arabic literature, war and gender, the Palestine-Israel conflict, postcolonial theory. She has directed several study abroad courses in Morocco, Tunisia, Cairo and Istanbul.

Her writings have focused on the intersection of gender and war in modern Arabic literature and on Arab women writers’ constructions of Islamic feminism. Her more recent interests have turned to Arab cultural studies with a concentration on Syria, and to the networked connections among Arabs and Muslims around the world.

She is the author of several monographs that include The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual:  Yahya Haqqi (1984); War's Other Voices: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War (1988); Women and the War Story (1997); Women Claim Islam: Creating Islamic Feminism through Literature (2001); Dissident Syria: Making Oppositional Arts Official (2007) and Nazira Zeineddine: A Pioneer of Islamic Feminism (2010). Her examination of cultural production in the Arabian Gulf, Tribal Modern: Branding New Nations in the Arab Gulf, came out in 2014 from California University Press. Her latest book dealing with the Art of Syrian Revolution 2011 - 2016 is entitled Dancing in Damascus: Creativity, Resilience, and the Syrian Revolution [Routledge 2016].

She has co-edited several volumes, including Opening the Gates. A Century of Arab Feminist Writing (1990/ 2005 with Margot Badran); Gendering War Talk (1993 with Angela Woollacott); Blood into Ink: 20th Century South Asian and Middle Eastern Women Write War (1994 with Roshni Rustomji); Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop (2005 with Bruce Lawrence); Mediterranean Passages: from Dido to Derrida (2008 with Erdag Goknar and Grant Parker).

She has also published a novel, Hayati, My Life (2000). Three of her books (Women Claim Islam; Women and the War Story and The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual:  Yahya Haqqi) were named Choice Outstanding Academic Books. Several books have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French and German.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Oxford (UK) 1980

  • M.A., University of Edinburgh (Scotland) 1971

cooke, M. "Humanist Nationalism." Social Constructions of Nationalism in the Middle East. Ed. FM Gocek. SUNY Press, 2002. 125-140.

cooke, M. "La pensee mediterraneenne." Mediterranee et Mediterraneens. Sociabilite, representations. Ed. J Chaker. Tunis, 2002. 15-28.

cooke, M. "Living in Truth." Tradition, Modernity and Postmodernity in Arabic Literature. Ed. A Kamal and W Hallaq. Leiden: Brill, 2000. 203-221. (Chapter)

cooke, M. "Middle Eastern Literature." Understanding the Contemporary Middle Midde East. Ed. D Gerner. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2000. 345-382. (Chapter)

cooke, M. "Mapping Peace." Women and War in Lebanon. Ed. L Shehadeh. Florida University Press, 1999. 73-89.

cooke, M. "La femme et l’histoire de la guerre." Le discours sur la femme. Ed. F Rhissassi. Rabat, 1998. 179-187.

cooke, M. "Muslim Women Between Human Rights and Islamic Norms." Religious Diversity and Human Rights. Ed. B Lawrence and I Bloom. Columbia University Press, 1996. 313-331.

cooke, M. "Subverting the Dominant Paradigms." Women and the Military. Ed. J Stiehm. Temple University Press, 1996. 235-269.

cooke, M. "Mothers, Rebels and Textual Exchanges." Beyond The Hexagon: Women Writing in French. Ed. K Gould and K Walker. Minnesota University Press, 1996. 140-156.

cooke, M. "Death and Desire in Iraqi War Fiction." Love and Sexuality in Modern Arabic Literature. Ed. R Allen, H Kilpatrick, and E de Moor. Saqi Press, 1995. 184-199.


Cooke, M. "Baghdad burning: Women write war in Iraq." World Literature Today 81.6 (December 1, 2007): 23-26.

Cooke, M. "Academic freedom: The "Danger"of critical thinking." International Studies Perspectives 8.4 (November 1, 2007): 396-400. Full Text

cooke, M. "The Muslimwoman." Contemporary Islam 1.2 (July 27, 2007): 139-154. Full Text

cooke, M. "Women and War in Iraq." World Literature Today (2007).

cooke, M. "No such thing as women’s literature." Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 1.2 (2005).

cooke, M. "Contesting Campus Watch." Al-Azhar Journal of Research 7.1 (2004): 5-31.

cooke, M. "Saving Brown Women." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28.1 (September 2002): 468-470. Full Text

cooke, M. "Islamic Feminism before and after September 11." Journal of Gender Law and Policy 9 (2002): 227-235.

Cooke, M. "Beirut Reborn: The Political Aesthetics of Auto-Destruction." The Yale Journal of Criticism 15.2 (2002): 393-424. Full Text