About Karen Kahn
Karen is currently pursuing a dual PhD in Middle East and North African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Bentley College and a Master’s degree in International Development Studies with a focus in Women’s Studies and the Middle East from George Washington University. Prior to her graduate studies, she spent several years working in the international development field focused on democracy, human rights, and economics programs in the Middle East. She has lived and studied in Jordan, Egypt, and Israel, and conducted field-based research in Jordan, Egypt, and Uganda. Karen’s research interests include modernity, religion, social theory, neoliberalism, development, governmentality, gender, nationalism, colonialism, the Middle East, and Islam. In particular, she is interested in the recently emerged grassroots Islamic piety movements in the Middle East in which women play dominant roles as well as critically examining the discourses of modernity and liberal feminism, as employed by Western rights-based feminist international development organizations.