Ferguson, Susanna

Field: Middle East; Advisor: Khalidi; Year: 2012

Susanna Ferguson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Middle East History at Columbia University and holds a certificate from Columbia's Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWAGS). Her dissertation, "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Childrearing, and Education in Egypt and Lebanon, 1865-1939," uses conceptual history methods to track the relationship between new educational infrastructures and new pedagogical ideas in Egypt and Greater Syria between the last decades of the Ottoman Empire and World War II. It focuses on the contributions of women intellectuals to pedagogical debates to shed new light on the history of womanhood, childhood, and parenthood; on new modalities of feminist thought in Arabic; and on the anxieties of educational politics in the Arab world's "liberal age." Her work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council; the Council of American Overseas Research Centers; the Jerrold Siegel Fellowship in Intellectual and Cultural History; and Columbia University's Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.
Susanna is a Managing Editor and frequent host at the Ottoman History Podcast, where she also co-edits the series on Women, Gender, and Sex in the Ottoman World.


Peer Reviewed Articles:

 “‘A Fever for an Education:’ Pedagogical Thought and Social Transformation in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, 1861-1914,” Arab Studies Journal (2018) 16 (1): 58-83.

  “Speaking in a Liberal Register: The Circulation of 'Women’s Rights' in Pre-Revolution Syria,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (2015) 35 (3): 557-574.

Book Reviews:

Review of Wael Abu-‘Uksa, Freedom in the Arab World: Concepts and Ideologies in Arabic Thought in the Nineteenth Century. Arab Studies Journal (2018) 16 (1): 145-150.

Review of Boutheina Khaldi, Egypt Awakening in the Early 20th Century: Mayy Ziadah’s Intellectual Circles. Journal of Arabic Literature (Winter 2014) 45 (2-3): 272.


Prior to beginning her doctoral work at Columbia, Susanna graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a BA in History and received a Master's degree from NYU's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.


In addition to her dissertation research, Susanna has served as a teaching assistant in Columbia's History Department. She also served as editorial assistant for Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.