Visiting Fellows

Karen Moukheiber

Phone: +961 (0)1 359297


Postdoc Research Fellow, Sep. 2015 - Aug. 2016

Karen Moukheiber received her PhD in Middle Eastern and Arab History from the American University of Beirut in 2015. Her main interests are Abbasid female slavery, gender, sexuality and cultural studies. Her PhD thesis titled “Slave Women and Free Men: Gender, Sexuality and Culture in Early Abbasid Times” investigated the masculine conceptual framework defining the sexual and cultural roles of slave women in a selection of Abbasid legal, literary and historical foundational texts. Her forthcoming publications are “The Abbasid Slave Courtesan: A Cultural Mediator for an Ethical Appreciation of Pleasure” in the Proceedings of the 2013 International Medieval Congress edited by Piroska Nagy and Naama Cohen-Hanegbi, published by Brepols; “Hisba: an Ordering Principle for an Islamic Way of Life” in Kamal Salibi’s Memorial Volume edited by Suleiman Mourad, published by the AUB Press.

Her current project at the OIB titled "Music and Gender in Kitab al-Aghani: Reflections on Women’s Cultural Roles in Classical Islam" analyzes biographical narratives of slave and free women (and men) musicians and singers from Ali b. al-Husyan al-Isfahani’s “Kitab al-Aghani”. It focuses on how slavery and gender transformed the engagement of slave and free women with music in the formative period of Islamic history and how these changes were reflected in the narrative strategies of al-Isfahani’s discourse on women and music.