Najwa Mayer

Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Society of Fellows in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University, with affiliations in Religion and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Formerly a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, a Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies Fellow,  and the Leslie Center for the Humanities Fellow at Dartmouth College in the Corsortium of Studies in Race, Migration, and Sexuality.  Najwa completed her PhD in American Studies at Yale University in 2020 where she also earned a Master’s concentration in Public Humanities. She is currently completing her dissertation, which considers both the racialization and civic mobilization of “Muslim American” identities in popular cultures through theorizations of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, and liberalisms in the 21st century United States. Her scholarship has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and awarded by the California American Studies Association.  Najwa is also founding member of the North Eastern Public Humanities Consortium (neph). At Yale, she co-inaugurated and co-chaired the Public Humanities Working Group, collaboratively designing programs and methodological workshops toward critical public engagement and research. Najwa has contributed to the curation of modern and contemporary work by Arab and Muslim artists in the Yale University Art Gallery. She also curated a teaching exhibition at the Whitney Humanities Center on New Haven-based Syrian artist Mohamad Hafez’s artwork about war and migration. She designed and advised a student Digital Humanities project in conjunction with the exhibition, which considered questions of race, migration, global media, and critical arts practice in relation to contemporary politics. The exhibition and digital project, entitled Critical Refuge, were jointly supported at Yale by the program in Public Humanities, the Digital Humanities Lab, the Whitney Humanities Center, and the Council on Middle East Studies. 


Najwa Mayer received a Social Science Research Council Fellowship for Early Career Scholars studying Religion in the Public Sphere. She is using it to work on her manuscript on Islam, race, and transnational feminist aesthetics in Muslim American popular cultures. 

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