Dr. Enaya Othman
Dr. Enaya OthmanMarquette University

Lalumiere Hall, 450

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-5761
Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor of Arabic

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Dr. Enaya Othman is Associate Professor at Marquette University. She is the founder of Arab and Muslim Women’s Research and Resource Institute (AMWRRI) and serves as the President of AMWRRI Board of Directors. She is also the editor-in-chief the Journal of Gender, Ethnic, and Cross-Cultural Studies.


Ph.D. Department of History, Marquette University.

Courses Taught

  • Core 1929, Methods of Inquiry: Constructing Disability
  • Elementary and Intermediate Arabic Language
  • Grammar Review and Writing, Conversation
  • Formal Spoken Arabic Language
  • Arab and Muslim Culture and Civilization
  • Arab and Muslim American communities in the United States
  • 19th and 20th Century Arabic Literature

Research Interests

Dr. Othman’s research interest focuses on Arab and Muslim feminism, immigration, and cultural encounter in colonial and diaspora contexts. With an interdisciplinary approach, her research aims to document and analyze women’s experiences by bringing history, migration, and feminist studies together. It has encompassed different contexts of cultural encounter in which women restored their voices and transformed gender roles.

A line of her research has investigated American Quaker education in Palestine and its influence on Palestinian women’s emancipatory desires. Using fine-grained analysis, she discovered the radical, moderate, and conservative ways Palestinian women sought to participate in community life. Her research in this area uncovered the manner in which Quaker education was received, translated, internalized, and responded to by Palestinian students. It generates insights into how these students changed their positions within their society’s structural power relations. Her book Negotiating Palestinian Womanhood: Encounters between Palestinian Women and American Missionaries, 1880s-1940s (2016) deals with the Friends Girls School as a site of interaction between Arab and American cultures.

Dr. Othman has further examined the intersectionality between gender, ethnicity, and religion among Arab and Muslim diaspora in the US to challenge the official historiography that marginalizes Muslim women immigrants. Through the Oral History Project led within AMWRRI, she collects, investigates, documents and discusses women’s self narratives to understand their construction and reconstruction of identities as well as creation of certain discourses and trends as a result of cultural encounters. Her second book Arranging Marriages: Muslim Women Transforming Gender Boundaries (forthcoming) look into the American Palestinian women’s transformative discourses and practices reflected in marriage patterns and family formation processes. Another line of her research on American Muslim women examines  cultural stigma of disabilities with multi-year support from Marquette University’s Strategic Innovation Fund. This project aims to use narratives to understand the beliefs that create barriers for seeking and providing help for Milwaukee Muslim immigrants, especially women, and to produce a digital archive in which scholars, community members, and health care providers open discussion on the community beliefs.

Dr. Othman has been leading several projects and published articles on the use and reinterpretation of women’s cultural dress in the US as one of the ways by which women mediate between cultural identity and modernity and affirm their power and position. This research agenda concentrates on the meanings, politics, histories, and social relations embedded in cultural clothing and on women’s agency in regard to cultural clothing both in countries Palestine, Oman, and Jordan and their diaspora communities in the US.

Professional Affiliations

She developed and acted as the principal organizer of the Milwaukee Public Museum exhibit: “Beyond the Veil: Dress, Identity and Tradition Through the Eyes of the Muslim and Arab Women of Greater Milwaukee.” She also developed and acted as the principal organizer of the Milwaukee Public Museum exhibit:  “Beyond the Veil: Dress, Identity and Tradition Through the Eyes of the Muslim and Arab Women of Greater Milwaukee.”


  • Modern American History

  • Middle East and Islamic History

  • Arabic Language

  • Immigration and American Ethnic History 

  • Feminism, Gender, and Cultural Studies

  • Oral History

Selected Publications

Enaya Hammad Othman; Palestinian American Women’s Marriages within and beyond Borders. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 July 2022; 18 (2): 195–215. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15525864-9767842

 “American Palestinian Women’s Marriages within and beyond Borders,” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 18, no. 2 (July 2022)

“Fatima Aliye’s Invisible Authorship: Challenging Orientalism and Patriarchy." Solicited for Feminisms, Transnationalism, and the Archive: The Women's Library at the Columbian Exposition. Ed. Marija Dalbello and Sarah Wadsworth. (August 2022)

“Diasporic Fashion: The Palestinian Dress as a Form of Gendered Activism,” in Forms of Migration: Global Perspectives on Im/migrant Art and Literature, ed. Stefan Maneval and Jennifer Reimer, 44-53 (Berlin: Falschrum Books, 2022). (Peer-Reviewed and Invited)

“Transnational identity and memory making in the lives of Iraqi women in diaspora by Nadia Jones-Gailani,” Ethnic and Racial Studies (April 2021) https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2021.1918740 (online); The REVIEW 45, no. 3 (March 2022). 

Othman, Enaya, Ong, L.Z., Omar, I. A., Bekhet, A., Najeeb, J. “Experiences of Muslim Mothers of Children with Disabilities: A Qualitative Study,” Journal of Disability and Religion (March 2021): 1-25.

"Palestinian American Women and Marital Choices Across Generations." Journal of American Ethnic History 40.1 (Fall 2020): 70-91. 

Negotiating Palestinian Womanhood: Encounters Between Palestinian Women and American Missionaries, 1880s-1940s, September 2016 (Lexington, Rowman and Littlefield Press).
Reviewed by:

  • Barbara Reeves-Ellington in Journal of American History, Volume 104, Issue 4, 1 March 2018, p. 1037
  • Catriona Laing, Social Sciences & Missions.Volume 31, Issue 3/4, 2018, pages 401-404.

“Muslim Women in the Diaspora: Shaping Lives and Negotiating Their Marriages” In World of Diasporas: Different Perceptions on the Concept of Diaspora, edited by Harjinder Singh Majhail and Sinan Dogan. 111-123. Leiden: Brill, Dec. 2018.

“Deconstructing the Dogma of Domesticity: Quaker Education and Nationalism in British Mandate Palestine,” The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, John Hopkins University Press, vol. 19 no. 1, 2018, (Spring 2018): 1-23

Encyclopedia Entry: “The Arab World Fest in Milwaukee,” in the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee (EMKE), June 2017.

Encyclopedia Entry: “American Muslim Women Challenging Traditional Courtship Practices,” in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, edited by Suad Joseph, Leiden: Brill. (5806 words)

“Strategies of Recognition’ and Palestinian Immigrant Women’s Cultural Dress:
Forging Communities and Negotiating Power Relations.” University of Leicester press, Journal of New Middle East Studies, 5 (2015): 1-15.

“Building a community Among Early Arab Immigrants in Milwaukee, 1890s-1960s,” Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol., 96, No. 4, (Summer, 2013), pp. 38-49 .

“Meeting at Middle Ground: American Quaker Women’s Two Palestinian Encounters,” Jerusalem Quarterly, No. 50 (Summer 2012), pp. 47-65.

“Muslim fashion: contemporary Style Cultures,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 40 No. 8(Feb,2017), pp. 1377-1379

Book Manuscript in Progress: Arranging Marriages: Palestinian Women Transforming Gender Boundaries.

Additional Information

Links to works and publications:

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Lalumiere Hall, 474
1310 W. Clybourn St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7063

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