Louise Cainkar
Dr. Louise CainkarMarquette University

Lalumiere Hall, 366

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-5714


Social and Cultural Sciences

2023 Recipient of the Nora Finnegan Werra Award for Faculty Achievement

2021 Recipient of Marquette University Community Engaged Teaching Award


Ph.D., Northwestern University

Research Interests

Dr. Cainkar studies the intersection of race, gender, public policy, national security, and dominant ideologies, particularly as these impact the quality of life of Arab and Muslim Americans. She has conducted research on Palestinians in the US, Arab and Muslim Americans after 9/11, the social experiences of Muslim women in the US, Islamophobia and hate crimes, citizenship and belonging among transnational Arab American youth living in Yemen, Palestine, and Jordan, the impact of economic sanctions on women and children in Iraq, the forced migration of Palestinians and Jordanians from Kuwait, and the policing of Arab and Muslim American communities. Her current research focuses on the resettlement of Afghans in the US post 2022 and the FIFA world cup, Morocco, and Arab and African diasporas.

Community Service

MENA/Arab American Briefs for the Illinois MENA Committee of the MENA Governmental Advisory Council of Illinois

Board Member and Treasurer, Arab American Action Network, Chicago

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Middle East Women’s Studies. Board Member & Treasurer. 2012-present.
  • Arab American Studies Association. Past President, President, and Board Member. 2014-19.
  • Review of Middle East Studies. Associate Editor. 2017-present.
  • Sociology of Religion. Associate Editor. 2017-2020
  • Committee on the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Sociology, American Sociological Association. Appointed by President. 2016-2018. Re-appointed, 2018-2022.

Professional Interests

Teaching interests:

  • Arab American studies
  • Muslims in diaspora
  • International migration, migrants and refugees
  • Social justice






Selected Articles & Chapters


“Racial Control under the Guise of Terror Threat: Policing of US Muslim, Arab, and SWANA communities.” Critical Studies on Terrorism 16:1, 152-175.


“The Social Construction of Difference and the Arab American Experience Revisited.” The I.B.Tauris Handbook of Sociology and The Middle East, edited by Fatma Müge Göçek & Gamze Evcimen. (London: I.B. Tauris).



  • “Hegemonic Femininity and Hijab as a Human Right.” in Arabs at Home and in the World: Human Rights, Gender Politics, and Identity, edited by Karla McCanders. (New York: Routledge). Pp 3-24.
  • “Islamophobia and the US ideological infrastructure of White Supremacy.” in Routledge International Handbook of Islamophobia. Irene Zempi and Imran Awan, eds. (London: Routledge). Pp 239-251.


  • “Fluid Terror Threat: A Genealogy of the Racialization of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Americans.” Amerasia Journal. Vol. 44 (1): 27-60.
  • “Review of Race Scholarship and the War on Terror.” Journal of the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Vol. 4 (2): 165-177.With Saher Selod.


  • “The Arab American Experience: From Invisibility to Heightened Visibility” in The Routledge Handbook of Asian American Studies. (New York: Routledge). Cindy I-Fen Cheng, editor.


  • “Race and Racialization: Demographic Trends and the Process of Reckoning Social Place” in Handbook of Arab American Psychology. (New York: Routledge). Mona Amer and Germine Awad, editors.

Honors and Awards

Marquette University Community Engaged Teaching Award, 2021

Additional Information

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Social and Cultural Sciences
Lalumiere Hall, 340
1310 W. Clybourn St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-6838

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