SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Ruba Salih

PhD (Sussex)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Ruba Salih
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Reader in Gender Studies

London Middle East Institute (LMEI)


Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)


Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies


Dr Ruba Salih
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4245
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Thursday: 5.00 - 6.45pm


Ruba Salih has a PhD in social anthropology. Her research interests and writing cover transnational migration and gender across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the Palestine question and refugees.

She is an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and a founder of its sub-committee for academic freedom in the Arab region.

 Her recent projects include a two years Gerda Henkel grant to complete a research on Palestinian refugees’ political cultures and imaginaries of rights (2013-2015) (with Sophie Richter-Devroe).

 She is currently also leading the SOAS team together with Prof Lynn Welchman (Law) and Dr  Elena Zambelli in the transnational collaborative research project Power2youth.  The project, funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, run for three years (2014-2017) and it explores the dynamics of youth exclusion and the prospects for youth transformative agency through an interdisciplinary and gender-sensitive approach in the South East Mediterranean region. ortium/consortium#sthash.MrkzM pyf.dpbs

 She also sits in the advisory board of MEDRESET, a consortium of research and academic institutions, funded by the Horizon 2020 program, focusing on different disciplines from the Mediterranean region to develop alternative visions for a new Mediterranean partnership and corresponding EU policies.

 At the moment she is completing a manuscript titled: Palestinian Refugees. The politics of exile and the politics of return (with Sophie Richter-Devroe) (Cambridge University Press) which will be out in 2017, and a special issue of the journal South Atlantic Quarterly on  “Palestine and Self-determination beyond National Frames: Emerging Politics, Cultures, and Claims”,which will be published in 2018.

 She is also editing with Andrea Cornwall a collection titled “Female Body Politics. Ownership Coercion and Agency in Muslim Societies and Beyond”  to be published in 2017 by I.B.Tauris.

 More at


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Afaf Jabiri, Women’s Rights in Postcolonial States: A case study of the Institution of Wilaya over women in Jordan and Yemen
  • Alaya Forte, New forms of political inclusion or mere tokenism? Reading political representation from a gender and minority perspective in British and French government (working title)
  • Eric Rindal, Masculinity in Refugee Diaspora: (Re)presentations of Syrian refugee men who have experienced conflict-related sexual violence
  • Hanna Al Taher, Gendered Citizenship in Jordan: Imagining, Claiming, Resisting Belonging
  • Katharina Schmoll, Envisioning a Democratic Future: Voice, recognition and citizenship in contemporary Morocco
  • Kim Jezabel Zinngrebe, Defying 'the plan': intimate politics among Palestinian women in Israel
  • Laurie Lijnders, Motherhood Across Borders (working title)
  • Magdalena Suerbaum, Mosaics of masculinity - Gendering the experience of male Syrian refugees in Egypt
  • Michelle Lokot, Unraveling humanitarian narratives: Syrian gender norms in contestation
  • Victoria Klinkert,


Gender, Islam and modernity in the Middle East and Europe; Islamic feminism, secular and religious women’s movements in the Middle East, transnational migration and gender; multiculturalism and citizenship; Islam in Europe, globalization; disapora and refugee studies; the Palestine question.


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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • Near and Middle East
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Salih, Ruba and Richter-Devroe, Sophie (2018) The Political Cultures of Palestinian Refugees: Right to Rights and Right to Return. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Forthcoming]

Salih, Ruba (2008) Musulmane Rivelate. Donne, Islam, Modernita. Winner of Premio Pozzale 2009. Rome: Carocci.

Salih, Ruba (2003) Gender in Transnationalism. Home, Longing and Belonging Among Moroccan Migrant Women. London; New York: Routledge.


Salih, Ruba (2018) 'Refugees and cathartic politics. From human rights to the right to be human'. South Atlantic Quarterly, (117) 1, pp 135-155.

Salih, Ruba and Richter-Devroe, Sophie (2018) 'Palestine Beyond National Frames: Emerging Politics, Cultures, and Claims'. South Atlantic Quarterly, (117) 1, pp 1-20.

Salih, Ruba (2018) 'Il corpo della memoria e la memoria del corpo. Le donne rifugiate e la politica dell'ordinario'. DWF 117-118, pp 24-36.

Salih, Ruba (2017) 'Bodies that walk, bodies that talk, bodies that love. Palestinian women refugees, affectivity and the politics of the ordinary'. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, (49) 3, pp 742-760.

Marchetti, Sabrina and Salih, Ruba (2017) 'Policing gender mobilities: interrogating the ‘feminisation of migration’ to Europe'. International Review of Sociology, (27) 1, pp 6-24.

Salih, Ruba (2014) 'Palestinian Refugees. Homes in exile'. OpenDemocracy.

Salih, Ruba and Richter-Devroe, Sophie (2014) 'Cultures of Resistance in Palestine and Beyond: On the Politics of Art, Aesthetics, and Affect'. Arab Studies Journal, (XXII) 1, pp 8-28.

Salih, Ruba (2013) 'Reconciling Return and Rights: Palestinian Refugees and the Emergence of a "Political Society"'. Jadaliyya.

Salih, Ruba (2013) 'From Bare Lives to Political Agents. Palestinian Refugees a Avant-Garde'. Refugee Survey Quarterly, (32) 2, pp 66-91.

Salih, Ruba (2010) 'Transnational public spheres ‘from above’ and from ‘below’. Feminist transnational networks across the Middle East and Europe'. Anthropology of the Middle East, (5) 1, pp 53-70.

Salih, Ruba and Moors, Annelies (2009) 'Muslim women in Europe: Secular Normativities, Bodily Performances and Multiple Publics'. Social Anthropology, (17) 4, pp 375-378.

Salih, Ruba (2009) 'Muslim women, fragmented secularism and the construction of interconnected 'publics' in Italy'. Social Anthropology, (17) 4, pp 409-423.

Salih, Ruba (2008) 'La agency delle donne tra occupazione, famiglia patriarcale e revivalismo islamico. Il caso palestinese'. DWF - Femminismi del mondo. A Sud 3-4, pp 79-80.

Salih, Ruba (2007) 'Muslim Women and the Public Sphere in Europe'. Anthropology News, (48) 5, pp 14-15.

Salih, Ruba (2005) 'Attraversare confini: soggettività emergenti e nuove dimensioni della cittadinanza'. Quale Storia per una società Multietnica. Rappresentazioni, timori e aspettative degli studenti italiani e non italiani. Un percorso di ricerca. Rapporto di ricerca,.

Salih, Ruba (2005) 'Genere e Islam. Politiche culturali e culture politiche in Europa in Studi Culturali'. Studi culturali 3, pp 121-128.

Salih, Ruba (2004) 'The backward and the new National, Transnational and Post-national Islam in Europe'. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (30) 5, pp 995-1011.

Salih, Ruba (2003) 'Transnazionalismo e Multiculturalismo. Pratiche di resistenza e meccanismi di contenimento'. Contemporanea, (VI) 7, pp 150-157.

Salih, Ruba (2002) 'The Gender of Modernity: Narratives of Muslim and Islamist Migrant Women'. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, (12) 1, pp 147-169.

Salih, Ruba (2002) 'Reformulating Tradition and Modernity: Moroccan Migrant Women and the Transnational Division of Ritual Space'. Global Networks, (2) 3, pp 219-232.

Salih, Ruba (2001) 'Moroccan Migrant Women: Transnationalism, Nation-States and Gender'. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (27) 4, pp 655-671.

Salih, Ruba (2001) 'Confronting modernities: Muslim women in Italy'. ISIM Newsletter 7.

Salih, Ruba (2000) 'Shifting Boundaries of Self and Other. Moroccan Migrant women in Italy'. European Journal of Women's Studies, (7) 3, pp 77-94.

Salih, Ruba (2000) 'Towards an Understanding of Gender and Transnationalism: Moroccan Migrant Women's Movements across the Mediterranean'. Anthropological Journal on European Cultures, (9) 2, pp 77-94.

Salih, Ruba (2000) 'Identità, modelli di consumo e costruzione di sé tra il Marocco e l'Italia. Una critica di genere alla migrazione transnazionale'. Afriche Orienti, (3) 4, pp 26-33.

Salih, Ruba (1994) 'Le donne palestinesi fra Corano e Costituzione'. Rivista del Centro per la Riforma dello Stato, (XXXIV) 2-3, pp 177-192.

Edited Books or Journals

Salih, Ruba and Cornwall, Andrea, (eds.), (2018) Female Body Politics: Ownership, Coercion and Agency in Muslim Societies and Beyond. London: I.B.Tauris. [Forthcoming]

Salih, Ruba, (ed.), (2018) Palestine and Self-determination beyond National Frames: Emerging Politics, Cultures, and Claims. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. (Special Issue of South Atlantic Quarterly). [Forthcoming]

Salih, Ruba and Richter-Devroe, Sophie, (eds.), (2014) Cultures of Resistance.. Centre of Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University: Arab Studies Journal.

Moors, Annelies and Salih, Ruba, (eds.), (2009) ‘Muslim women’ in Europe. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (Special Issue of Social Anthropology).

Salih, Ruba and Gozzi, Gustavo, (eds.), (2008) Reconstruction Politique, Societè Civile et Cooperation au Moyen Orient. Liban, Iraq, Palestine. Paris, Turin: Harmattan.

Book Chapters

Salih, Ruba and Riccio, Bruno (2010) 'Transnational Migration and rescaling processes. The incorporation of Migrant Labour'. In: Glick-Schiller, Nina and Caglar, A., (eds.), Locating Migration. Rescaling Cities and Migrants. New York, NY: Cornell University Press, pp 123-143.

Salih, Ruba (2008) 'Making space for Islam in Europe: exploring transnational practices of citizenship and belonging'. Reconciling migrants' well-being and the public interest. Welfare state, firms and citizenship in transition. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, pp 339-360.

Salih, Ruba (2006) 'Femminismo e Islamismo. Pratiche politiche e processi di identificazione in epoca post-coloniale'. In: Bertilotti, T. and Galasso, C. and Gissi, G. and Lagorio, F., (eds.), Altri Femminismi. Corpi, Culture, Lavoro. Rome: Manifesto Libri, pp 101-121.

Salih, Ruba (2006) 'Le donne palestinesi: i conflitti della cittadinanza'. In: Scrittori, A.R., (ed.), Margini e Confini. Studi sulla cultura delle donne nell 19et. Venice: Cafoscarina.

Salih, Ruba (2005) 'Mobilità transnazionali e cittadinanza. Per una geografia di genere dei confini'. In: Salvatici, Silvia, (ed.), Confini. Costruzioni, Attravesamenti, Rappresentazioni. Soveria Mannelli (Catanzaro): Rubbettino.

Salih, Ruba (2004) 'Ambivalent frontiers: gender and the lived experience of transnational migration'. In: Knop, Karen, (ed.), Gender and Human Rights. New York: Oxford University Press.

Salih, Ruba (2003) 'Shifting Meanings of Islam and Multiple Representations of Modernity: the case of Migrant Women of Muslim Origin in Italy'. Gender and Ethnicity in Contemporary Europe. Oxford: Berg, pp 119-139.

Salih, Ruba (2002) 'Recognising Difference, Reinforcing Exclusion. The Case of a Family Planning Centre for Migrant Women and their Children in Emilia Romagna'. In: Grillo, R.D. and Pratt, J., (eds.), The Politics of Recognising Difference. Multiculturalism Italian-Style. Aldershot: Asghate, pp 139-159.

Salih, Ruba (2001) 'Shifting Meanings of Home: Consumption and Identity in Moroccan Women's Transnational Practices between Italy and Morocco'. In: Al-Ali, Nadje and Koser, Khalid, (eds.), New Approaches to Migration. Transnational Communities and the Transformation of Home. London: Routledge, pp 51-67.

Salih, Ruba (1998) 'Migrazione e identità della diaspora: il caso delle donne marocchine in Emilia Romagna'. In: Petricioli, M. and Tonin, A., (eds.), Identita' e appartenenza in Medio Oriente. Firenze: Centro 2P, pp 151-163.

Monographs and Working Papers

Salih, Ruba and Marchetti, Sabrina (2015) Gender and Mobility across Southern and Eastern European Borders: "Double Standards" and the Ambiguities of the European Neighbourhood Policy. Rome: IAI.

Salih, Ruba (2011) The Relevance of Gender in/and Migration. European University Institute,.

Salih, Ruba (2001) Moroccan Migrant Women. Transnationalism, Plurinationalism and Gender. Brighton: University of Sussex.

Book Reviews

Salih, Ruba (2009) 'Review of Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt, 'What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq'. University of California Press 2009'. Gender and Development, (17) 2.

Salih, Ruba (2008) 'Review of Roy, O. 'Secularism confronts Islam'. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007'. International Affairs, (84) 6, pp 1316-1317.

Salih, Ruba (2006) 'Review of Zolo, D. and Horchani. F., 'Mediterraneo. Un dialogo tra le due sponde' Roma: Jouvence 2005'. Jura GentiumRivista di filosofia del diritto internazionale e della politica globale.

Salih, Ruba (2005) 'Review of Kanaaneh, R. A. 'Birthing the Nation: Strategies of Palestinian Women in Israel'. University of California Press, 2002'. H-Gender-MidEast.

Salih, Ruba (2003) 'Review of Khalidi, Rashid, 'Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness'. Columbia University Press 1997'. Il Manifesto.

Salih, Ruba (2001) 'Review of Salazar-Parrenas, R. 'Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration and Domestic Work', Stanford University Press 2001'. Ricerche di Storia Politica, (7) 2, pp 309-309.

Salih, Ruba (2001) 'Review of Andall , J. 'Gender, Migration and Domestic Service. The Politics of Black Women in Italy'. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000'. The European Journal of Women's Studies, (8) 4.

Salih, Ruba (2000) 'Review of Pandolfo, S. 'Impasse of the Angels: Scenes from a Moroccan Space of Memory'. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1997'. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, (6) 4, pp 753-753.


This list was last generated on Thursday, 13th December 2018, 09:43 Europe/London.