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Mejdulene Shomali

Photo Credit: Doug Coombe and the Arab American National Museum

Mejdulene B. Shomali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. She received a PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 2015 and a MA in Women’s Studies from Ohio State University in 2009. Her research investigates representations of femininity and sexuality in Arab and Arab American literature, art, and film. Her work engages critical ethnic studies, transnational feminist thought, queer of color critique, and cultural studies methods.


She is currently doing new research for a manuscript based off her dissertation, Moving Femininities: Queer Critique and Transnational Arab Culture, as well as developing two articles for publication. “Scheherazade and the Limits of Inclusive Politics in Arab American Literature” explores how Arab American writers engage the myth and muse of Scheherazade in three popular Arab American texts. “Dancing Queen: Denial and Desire in Golden Era Egyptian Cinema” maps the movement of two prominent belly dancers from 1950s Egypt, Samia Gamal and Tahia Carioca, in order to explore how women’s bodies and sexualities function as discursive sites for debating nationalism and other transnational Arab politics. Some of her creative work can be read in journals like Mizna and the Feminist Wire.

Mejdulene has taught a variety of interdisciplinary courses, including “Introduction to Women’s Studies,” “Race, Gender, and Sexuality,” and “Introduction to Disability Studies.” At UMBC, developed and teaches a new course entitled “Trans/national Femininities” and teaches our introductory courses as well as “Gender, Race, and Media.”