miriam cooke

miriam cooke

Braxton Craven Distinguished 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., and M. Badran, editors. Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing. Virago/ Indiana University Press, 1990.

cooke, M. War's Other Voices: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War. Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Haqqi, Y. The Anatomy of an Egyptian Intellectual: Yahya Haqqi. Translated by M. Cooke, Three Continents Press, 1984.


Barnosky, A. D., and E. A. Hadly. “Foreword.” Paleontology in Ecology and Conservation, 2012, pp. v–vii. Scopus, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-25038-5. Full Text

cooke, M. “Performing Ibn Khaldun in Syria: The Role of the Intellectual in Troubled Times.” Figures d’Ibn Khaldun: Reception, Appropriation et Usages Algiers, edited by H. Touati, CRNPAH, 2011.

cooke, M. “Yahya Haqqi: Arabic Wordsmith.” Essays in Arabic Literary Biography 1850-1950, edited by R. Allen, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010, pp. 113–25.

cooke, M. “Yahya Haqqi: A Biography.” Wujuh Yahya Haqqi, edited by W. Husayn, Egyptian Cultural Council Press, 2008, pp. 389–419.

cooke, M. “Dying to be Free: Wilderness Writing from Lebanon, Arabia and Libya.” On Evelyne Accad: Essays in Literature, Feminism and Cultural Studies, edited by C. Toman, Summa Press, 2007, pp. 13–32.

Felbeck, H., and D. H. Bartlett. Foreword. Vol. 47, 2006.

cooke, M. “Women’s jihad before and after 9/11.” Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11, edited by D. Sherman and T. Nardin, Indiana University Press, 2006, pp. 165–83.

cooke, M. “Al-adibat al-arabiyat fi al-qarn al-ishrin: manzur amriki.” Al-Mar’a Al-`arabiya Wa Al-Mutaghayyurat Al-`alamiya, Cairo, 2003, pp. 105–12.

cooke, M. “A la Recherche de la Langue Maternelle.” L’identite. Choix Ou Combat, edited by J. Chaker and M. cooke, 2002, pp. 141–52.


cooke, M. “Réseaux d’artistes et d’écrivains dans la nouvelle Méditerranée.” Méditerranée/ Mondialisation, CNRS, 2013.

cooke, M. • Feminism in Islam. 2012.

cooke, M. “The Cell Story: Syrian Prison Stories after Hafiz Asad.” Middle East Critique, vol. 20, no. 2, 2011, pp. 169–88.

Valassopoulos, A., et al. “Dialogue section: Arab feminist research and activism: Bridging the gap between the theoretical and the practical.” Feminist Theory, vol. 11, no. 2, Aug. 2010, pp. 121–27. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1464700110366803. Full Text

Cooke, Miriam. “Book Review: Joan Wallach Scott, The Politics of the Veil. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. xii + 208 pp. ISBN 978—0—691—12543—5.” Feminist Theory, vol. 11, no. 2, SAGE Publications, Aug. 2010, pp. 220–21. Crossref, doi:10.1177/14647001100110020804. Full Text

Cooke, M. “Magical realism in Libya.” Journal of Arabic Literature, vol. 41, no. 1–2, Apr. 2010, pp. 9–21. Scopus, doi:10.1163/157006410X486701. Full Text

cooke, M. “Egypt as a Woman: Nationalism, Gender and Politics * BY BETH BARON.” Journal of Islamic Studies, vol. 20, no. 1, Oxford University Press (OUP), Jan. 2009, pp. 141–43. Crossref, doi:10.1093/jis/etn068. Full Text

Cooke, M. “Rejoinder to "Muslimwoman" responses.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, vol. 24, no. 1, Dec. 2008, pp. 116–19. Scopus, doi:10.2979/FSR.2008.24.1.116. Full Text


cooke, M. “Euro-American Women’s Studies in Islamic Cultures.” Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures, Brill, 2003, pp. 428–38.

cooke, M. “Censorship in Syria.” Censorship: A World Encyclopedia, 2001, pp. 2363–67.

cooke, M. “Near Middle East and North African Culture.” International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2001, pp. 10426–31.

cooke, M. “Femmes Arabes. Guerres Arabes.” Peuples Mediterraneens, Mediterranean Peoples, vol. 64 & 65, 1993, pp. 25–48.

cooke, M. “The Heart's Directions.” World and I, Mar. 1991.

cooke, M. “Deconstructing War Discourse: Women's Participation in the Algerian Revolution.” For Women in International Development, no. Working Paper #187, Michigan State University, June 1989.

Cooke, M. “Women Write War: The Centering of the Beirut Decentrists.” Papers on Lebanon, no. 6, 1987.

cooke, M. “Recording World Wars.” Ijmes, vol. 46, no. 4.