Dr. Shilan Fuad Hussain is currently a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of Gender Studies and cultural analysis, and a Senior Consultant for gender-related issues in society. She was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Washington Kurdish Institute(U.S.), and a Doctoral Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy(Switzerland), where she has published a number of papers and received tailored training. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Bologna (Italy) in Middle Eastern Studies, and a Ph.D. from the University of Urbino (Italy) in Cultural Analysis. Since gaining her Ph.D., she has continued to publish in academic peer-reviewed journals and has developed a track record in the field of Cultural Analysis, alongside Middle Eastern and Kurdish Studies.
She is an interdisciplinary academic and works on a variety of topics, among them: cultural representation, production, and practices; gender-based violence and women’s human rights; state policies enhancing female equality; FGM, sexuality, and arranged/forced marriages; the social impacts of masculinity; and multi-identity in the diaspora – which are topics that mirror her published papers. Her current work sits at the intersection of sociology and cultural analysis, and its symbiotic relevance to modern society. She has engaged in comparative cultural research in the Middle East and Europe, with a focus on women and society, hence her research is multi-sited and multi-method.
She has published 18 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, 3 special issues, 4 book chapters, one co-edited book, 15 open-access articles online, 3 op-eds; one single-authored book is forthcoming, and 3 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals. She has been an invited speaker to 40 international conferences in Europe, the US, and the Middle East. She has worked for over eleven years with international NGOs, liaising with a diverse range of local, national, international, and non-governmental officials, policymakers, bureaucrats, and civil society members – conducting interviews, and research on issues affecting the most vulnerable members of society. As a Kurdish woman who grew up in Iraq amidst war before transitioning to the diaspora, her personal experiences have shaped her worldview and unique perspectives on current cultural and political debates.
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I have previously taught in a variety of formats including large lectures, smaller classrooms, seminars, and individual tutorials. I am aware of the group dynamics that prevent some students – often, women – from speaking in larger groups. I am strongly committed to ensuring equal opportunity and promoting participation in diverse learning environments. For this reason, I vary group size and composition in seminars and make myself available for one-on-one discussion. My teaching philosophy has been informed, broadened, and enriched by my research and past interactions. I have worked in an ethnically diverse and multicultural area of Italy which has exposed me to a variety of significant issues regarding race, migration, and multiculturalism. My interaction with students has kept me up to date on emerging scholarship and pushed me to explain insights from my own research in a way that connects to the students’ projects and level of knowledge. I have shared insights from my work in a way that has enabled students to clarify their own research questions and research design for their dissertation research.
I am an enthusiastic teacher, and my aim is to motivate and inspire students to learn. During my Ph.D. I assisted and taught B.A. and M.A. students, and contributed to the department’s activities, including organizing seminars and conferences. Moreover, I independently developed the course syllabus and lectures for a course on the Interpretation of Literature, for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Urbino. Post Ph.D. (2014). Additionally, I was a lecturer of Arabic Literature, Language, and culture at “Area Intercultura”, a private center for Arabic Studies in SavignanosulRubicone (Italy), where I focused on: modern history of the Islamic World, modern Arabic literature, and Middle Eastern diaspora literature. I also taught Arabic as a foreign language to adult specialist and non-specialist learners, designed the teaching materials for the program, and conducted the examinations.
I am an interdisciplinary academic working in the field of humanities and social science, who is interested in utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods in my comparative research throughout the Middle East and Europe. During my fellowship I will work in the fields of (1) gender research across varying areas; (2) intersections of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality; (3) cultural analysis, (4) peace and conflict studies, and (5) human rights. The target groups for this research are (1) academics, (2) policymakers, (3) women’s rights activists, (4) the United Nations, (5) NGOs in the KRI, as well collaborating institutions in the UK, (6) media, (7) women’s rights activists, (8) practitioners, (9) civil society, (10) and the public.
Women and Gender in Kurdistan (KRI) and in the Diaspora - I will build upon the existing literature and fill the gaps I have identified in the body of work on the subject. To do this, I will uncover how Kurdish women are challenging existing gender norms and have catalyzed themselves as agents for change and vehicles to push toward gender equality and empowerment. Rather than viewing Kurdish women as exclusively ‘victims’, this research will also display the nuances of the subject, and ways that Kurdish women continue to valiantly preserve their agency and strive for reforms. Accordingly, I will force vital links between daily life and collective action, while meditating on women’s existence, and writing on the intertwined communal complexities that characterize their lives in the KRI and diaspora. My contribution to the literature will be specifically using the issues of social and cultural constructs of gender and women’s roles, the role of the patriarchy, honor-based violence, and FGM to unearth additional truths.
The Mediterranean as a source of cultural criticism: myth, literature, and anthropology/edited by Andrea Benedetti and Ulrich van Loyen; in cooperation with Shilan Fuad Hussain, Milano/Udine, Mimesis International, Anthropology (2018), ISBN: 9788869771361.
SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED OPEN-ACCESS ARTICLES (ONLINE)
SELECTED INTERVIEWS (OPEN ACCESS ONLINE)
2022-2024: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow 2021 – Horizon Europe – funded by UKRI – (£) 204.000.
2022-: Migration and Displacement stream of the UKRI GCRF Hub – Gender, Justice, and Security. Lead partner: London School of Economics (LSE) Centre for Women, Peace, and Security.
2022-: Gender and Diversity Cluster (GDC), Middlesex University.
Recent major awards, achievements