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Nadia Abu El-Haj

Professor, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

Governing Board Member, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2017–2023)

Governing Board Chair, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2020–2023)

Headshot of Nadia Abu El-Haj

Nadia Abu El-Haj is Professor in the Departments of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University, and Codirector of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia. The recipient of numerous awards, including from the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Harvard Academy for Area and International Studies, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, she is the author of numerous journal articles published on topics ranging from the history of archaeology in Palestine to the question of race and genomics today. Abu El-Haj has published two books: Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (2001), which won the Albert Hourani Annual Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association in 2002, and The Genealogical Science: The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology (2012). While Abu El-Haj’s two books to date have focused on historical sciences (archaeology, and genetic history), her third book, tentatively titled Soldier Trauma, The Obligations of Citizenship, and the Forever Wars (Verso, forthcoming) examines the field of (military) psychiatry, and explores the complex ethical and political implications of shifting psychiatric and public understandings of the trauma of American soldiers.

Professor Abu El-Haj chairs the Governing Board of the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities (2020-2023).