Photo of Nahla Abdo

Nahla Abdo


Degrees:PhD (Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 3569
Office:C767 Loeb Building

Areas of Interest

Professor Abdo is interested in researching the binary state characteristic of settler colonialism and indigenousness, focusing on North America and Israel/Palestine, using a historical comparative approach. Following Wolfe’s “Colonialism Speaks Race”, Professor Abdo is researching the different forms of racism and slavery used in the service of capitalism, by the settler colonial states. Her specific areas of research focus on gendered and racialized and classed colonialism. Also, women in the Middle East, with focus on Palestinian women constitute a major part of her academic and activist research. Working closely with her graduate students, Professor Abdo aims at contributing to anti-colonial, anti-imperialist feminist methodology.


With the theoretical/conceptual framework outlined above, Professor Abdo’s research (especially feminist) methods are largely qualitative, focusing on Oral History, Narratives and women’s stories. These (among other) research methods are crucial for developing de-colonial epistemology and anti-colonial ontology. It is worth noting that Professor Abdo’s books have been translated to different languages, including, Arabic, Kurdish and French. Her Captive Revolution (2014) will be out in French October 2019.

Graduate Supervision

Professor Abdo is currently accepting graduate students interested in the fields of de-colonialism, anti-colonialism, settler colonial states and indigenousness, and Muslim/Arab women, especially within the context of the Middle East. She also welcomes inquiries about specific areas of supervision.

Research Awards

2014-15: Marston La-France Research Award (presented the Marston La-France Lecture in March 2015)

2013-14: FASS Research Award

Publications (Books Only)

2018: An Oral History of the Palestinian Nakba. Co-edited with Nur Masalha. Zed Books

2014: Captive Revolution: Palestinian women’s Anti-Colonial Struggle Within the Israeli Prison System. Pluto Press.

2011: Women in Israel: Gender, Race and Citizenship. Zed Books.

2009: Women and Citizenship in Israel: Comparing Palestinian Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Women. MADAR: Centre for Israeli Studies/Ramallah (Arabic, 185).

2007: Women and Poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Some Conceptual and Methodological Notes. UNESCO. Ramallah: Palestine (English and Arabic).

2006: Acknowledging the Displaced: Palestinian Women’s Ordeals in East Jerusalem. Co-authored. Women Studies Center. Ramallah: Palestine (English and Arabic).

2004: Violence in the Name of Honour: Theoretical and Political Challenges. Co-edited. Bilgi University Press: Istanbul. (translated into Kurdish).

2002: Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation: Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation. Co-edited with Ronit Lentin. London: Berghahn Books.

1996: Sociological Thought: Beyond Eurocentric Theory. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

1987: Family, Women and Social Change in the Middle East. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.