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Meet Global Studies and Sociology Prof Nada Matta



April 30, 2018

Nada Matta, PhD

Nada Matta, PhD, assistant professor of global studies and sociology, hopes to refute stereotypes in her courses on the Middle East, and highlight universal trends and similarities across cultures and regions.

Hometown: Miliya Village, Israel/Palestine
Degree: PhD from New York University
Research interests: Social movements, political economy, Middle East studies, gender, labor movements and revolutions

What did you do before coming to Drexel?
PhD student at NYU

What is your favorite book? Movie?
I mostly read novels in Arabic. I am very fond of a Palestinian novel called “The Secret Life of Saeed: the Pessoptimist” by Emile Habibi. As for movies, this is a difficult question as I like different kinds of movies. I would say “The Battle of Chile” and “Jason Bourne.”

What is your favorite food or restaurant?
Japanese and Thai food

When is the last time you did something “for the first time”? What was it?
A few years ago, I did field work for the first time in my life. I traveled to Egypt to conduct my dissertation research, and I stayed with an Egyptian working-class family in the city of Mahalla. During my stay, I conducted interviews with female and male textile workers in the city. So far, this has been the most exciting and enriching experience in my academic career.   

What/who inspires you?
Bernie Sanders!

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
As a little girl, I always dreamt of flying. It still is the super power I would choose.

What was the most impactful moment of your own college career? 
In college, I took a dialogue-based course called The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The course had a large impact on my political development.

Which current event/issue do you think students should know more about and why? Students should be informed about the health care debate in the US. The popular demand for a single-payer health care system is one of the most important issues that affects all Americans regardless of ethnicity and race. Winning this demand could help people gain other public rights in the future, such as affordable housing and better public education.

What would students be surprised to learn about you?
I like action movies, even if they are stereotypical!

If you could relive a moment in your life what would it be?
Seeing my daughter for the first time!

What did you want to be when you were a kid? What made you want to become a professor?
A medical doctor! I became a professor because I am committed to explaining the sources of inequality in our society. I hope that by understanding the underlying power structures, we will be motivated and able to help make the world a better place for everyone.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement thus far in your career?
I am very excited to have started teaching courses on Middle East politics at Drexel.

What do you hope to add to the CoAS community?
I hope to be able to provide sociological analysis of the history and politics of the Middle East that refutes stereotypes, and highlights universal trends and similarities across regions and cultures.