Visiting Assistant Professor
Professor Sayed is a social historian and scholar of the contemporary Middle East. Professor Sayed’s research explores issues of citizenship, sectarianism, nationalism, family Islamic law, and gender norms in the contemporary Middle East from the vantage point of Lebanon. Her research explores the role marginalized religious groups played in the construction of the nation-state and the politicization of sectarian identity as it concerned the Shi?a of Lebanon during the French Mandate period. Her most recent research examines the conditions of Syrian refugees with a focus on Syrians residing in the southern region of Lebanon. Her research assesses the ways in which Syrians negotiate health and social services, and the complexities that exist in both the structures of international aid, and the political infrastructure of Lebanon that limit the services Syrian refugees have access to. Her research intersects debates over citizenship, refugee rights, and public health policy. Prior to arriving at James Madison College, Professor Sayed taught at New York University, where she taught courses on Islam, gender, nationalism, colonialism, and Middle East history and politics. She holds a Master’s degree in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University.