Leila Ahmed

Cambridge, MA, USA

Leila Ahmed (b. 1940) is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School.  She has held this post since 2003, but, previously, she was the Harvard Divinity School’s first professor of women’s studies in religion (1999-2003) and a professor of women’s studies and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts- Amherst (1981-1999).  She has written innumerable academic books and articles, including the seminal Women and Gender in Islam (1992) and, most recently, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America (2011).  In 1999, she published her memoir, A Border Passage, in which she charted her life as a ‘woman’s journey’ – from a childhood in Cairo in the 1940s and 1950s to her adulthood as an immigrant American.  In particular, she reflects on her identities as a woman, a Muslim, an Arab and an Egyptian.  Four short extracts from this memoir with some ‘further thoughts and afterthoughts’ by the author are available on the website for The Scholar and Feminist Online in the special issue, ‘Writing a Feminist’s Life: The Legacy of Carolyn H. Heilbrun’, vol. 4, no. 2 (spring 2002):

Biography by Siobhan Lambert-Hurley


A Border Passage

Leila Ahmed
Cambridge, MA (Original Language: English)

Leila Ahmed, ‘A Border Passage – And Some Further Thoughts and Afterthoughts’ [http://barnard.edu/sfonline/heilbrun/ahmed_03.htm]

Further Reading

Ahmed, Leila, A Border Passage: from Cairo to America – A Woman’s Journey (New York: Penguin, 1999).

Ahmed, Leila, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America (Yale University Press, 2011).

Ahmed, Leila, Women and Gender in Islam: The Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (Yale University Press, 1993)