Janet Abu-Lughod holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and University of Massachusetts and has been studying and writing about cities for more than half a century. Her teaching career began at the University of Illinois, took her to the American University in Cairo, Smith College, and Northwestern University, where she taught for twenty years and directed several urban studies programmes. In 1987 she accepted a professorship in sociology and historical studies at the Graduate
Faculty of the New School for Social Research, from which she retired as professor emerita in I998.
She has published over a hundred articles and thirteen books, a number of which deal with the Middle East, including an urban history of Cairo that is still considered one of the classic works on that city: Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious (Princeton, 1971).