Susan Slyomovics conducts research on the expressive culture of the Middle East and North Africa, gender and human rights, the overlap between oral and written literature, and the relationship between visual anthropology and literature. She is the Geneviève McMillan-Reba Stewart Professor of the Study of Women in the Developing World and professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a book on human rights in Morocco that she plans to write at Radcliffe, Slyomovics will analyze and document the ways in which Morocco's plans to revamp its judicial, court, and police systems go hand in hand with the national response to years of human rights violations. She will address such questions as: What governmental and educational organs (a truth commission? indemnity commission?) will be charged with recording this past history of abuse? How is civil society to be reconstructed after periods of authoritarian rule in Morocco? What role can artists and ritual play in public truth telling and the construction of a civil society?
Slyomovics has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program (Egypt, 1982–1983; Morocco, 1999–2000), the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her book, The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998), received the 1999 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association and the 1999 Chicago Folklore Prize. A 1971 graduate of Barnard College, she earned her PhD in Near Eastern studies from the University of California at Berkeley.