Susanna Ferguson is a PhD Student in the History Department at Columbia University, where she focuses on the history of the modern Middle East, particularly on questions of women and gender. She is also a certificate candidate at Columbia's Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWAGS). Prior to beginning her doctoral work at Columbia, Susanna graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a BA in History and received a Master's degree from NYU's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Susanna's MA thesis traced the circulation of human and women's rights discourse in Damascus, Syria, between 2009 and 2011. The deep attachments she found to the projects of human and women's rights in Syria raised questions about what other languages of justice might have historically shaped discussions about politics in general, and feminist politics in particular, in the region. Following this, Susanna's current research focuses on the concept of tarbiya in Arab thought from Egypt and the Levant in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a way of tracing the history of one such alternative language.