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Photograph of Diane Singerman

Diane Singerman Associate Prof Emeritus Department of Government

Additional Positions at AU
Co-Director, Tadamun: the Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative
Ph.D. Princeton University<br />
M.A. Princeton University<br />
B.A. Princeton University

Languages Spoken
Arabic (Egyptian Colloquial)
Favorite Spot on Campus
My office
Dr. Singerman is an Associate Professor and comparativist whose research interests focus on political change from below, particularly in the Middle East, and more specifically Egypt. Her work examines the formal and informal side of politics, gender, social movements, globalization, public space, protest, and urban politics. Her most recent edited books are Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity, and Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East.

Professor Singerman is also Co-Founder of Middle East Studies @ American University (now Islamic and Middle East Studies @ AU). She is currently working on a project funded by the Ford Foundation called "Tadamun: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative," which aims to research, publicize and promote ways that communities in Cairo can mobilize to improve their neighborhoods, reform local government, and redefine their role in the public sphere. See for more detail.

Twitter Profile
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Comparative politics, Middle East and Egyptian politics, gender and politics in the Middle East, and scholarship on informal politics, urban politics, new urbanism, political participation, marriage, personal status law, youth, waithood, and social movements

Selected Publications


Journal Articles/Book Chapters/Working Papers:

  • “Youth, Gender, and Dignity in the Egyptian Uprising.”  Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 9 (3), Fall 2013, 1-27.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2012.  Outstanding Honors Faculty Award, Honors Program, American University.

  • 2011. Principal Investigator, “Adding Value to Community Assets: ‘Normalizing’ Housing Renovation and Reimagining Urban Governance Structures in Greater Cairo.” Ford Foundation, Middle East and North Africa Program.  

  • 2011. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies Distinguished Lecturer. “Youth, Gender, and Dignity in the Arab Uprisings,” April 15, 2011, Yale University.

  • 2011. Principal Investigator, "Islam in Focus," Social Science Research Council, Academia and the Public Sphere, June  2010-December.

  • SPA Faculty Development Award, 2007-2009

  • MEAwards Program Grant, “The Cost of Marriage in Egypt.” The Population Council, Cairo, Egypt. 2000-2002.

  • American University Senate Research Awards Program. "The Cost of Marriage in Egypt: Measurement Conventions, Understanding of Poverty, and Changing Social and Demographic Norms." 2000-2001.

  • American University Research Award, "A Reading of the Siege of Imbaba: Informality, Islamists, and State-Society Relations in Egypt," 1997-1998.

  • Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences, The Middle East Studies Association of North America, November 1990. Awarded to the best dissertation in the social sciences in Middle East studies.

  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad, Cairo, Egypt, 1985-1986.

  • Social Science Research Council Award for Dissertation Research, 1985-1987.


The bi-lingual website of TADAMUN: The Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative,, includes a database, many policy briefs, articles, case studies, and analysis about the issues of urban governance, urban development, local government, the built environment and social justice.

2011 website: Gender and Afghanistan: 2001 and Beyond?

This website was created by undergraduate and graduate students in a small seminar on Gender and Politics in the Middle East, taught in spring 2011. This course explored the ways in which the social, political, and cultural construction of sexual difference influences the nature and practice of political life in the Middle East. It examined both theoretically and empirically the ways in which power is gendered and how gender has served as a basis for political organization, the distribution of power, and the boundaries of public life (see the class syllabus.) After examining relevant feminist theory and other theoretical lenses into these issues, the last month of the course focused directly on the complex situation of gender and politics in Afghanistan - which was a geographic stretch for the course.

Fall 2011: Media/Web projects from my Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences: Egyptian Politics, Protest, & Change?

The Cairo Story: Non-Violent Resistance in the 2011 Egyptian Uprising, created by Sarah Palazzolo, American University Class of 2016. Tweeting Egypt: The Social Media of the Egyptian Uprising, created by Sarah Parnass, American University Class of 2012.

Media related to project on marriage costs in the Middle East: