Ebtihal Mahadeen

Lecturer in Gender and Media Studies


Dr. Mahadeen's research sits at the intersection between gender and sexuality studies, and media and cultural studies. Her research and teaching agenda focuses on the Middle East and North Africa context and in particular Jordan and the Levant.  

She has a professional background in reporting and online media, and has continued to cultivate a practice-led, not just academic, relationship with the media through various roles including Chief Editor of Jeem.me platform (specialising in producing Arabic-language content on gender and sexuality) and writing op-eds for various media outlets including The New Arab, 7iber, and Middle East Eye.

Before coming to Edinburgh, Dr. Mahadeen was a Visiting Scholar at the Council for British Research in the Levant in Amman, Jordan, and a Research Consultant with the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality.



- PhD, Women’s Studies, The University of York. - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Responsibilities & affiliations



- Advisory board member, Dardishi, a community arts project, Glasgow, UK (2022 -)

- Advisory board member, Kohl, a journal for body gender research, Beirut, Lebanon (2016 - 2020)

- Council member, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (2016 -2019)



- Chair of the Board of Examiners - IMES



- MSc Programme Director (MSc in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, MSc in Advanced Arabic, MSc in Middle Eastern Studies with Advanced Arabic).

- Board of Studies Officer

- Undergraduate Officer 

- Erasmus Exchange Officer

- Quality Assurance Officer

Undergraduate teaching

I am course organiser for the following courses:

  • Gender and Media in the Arab World 
  • Reading Arab Feminist Texts: Key Debates on Women's Rights in the Arab World (
  • Gendering the Middle East 

I guest lecture on the following team-taught courses:

  • Research Methods and Problems in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies


  • Research Skills and Methods for IMES Dissertations

  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Cultures


Postgraduate teaching

I am course organiser for:

  • Gender and Media in the Arab World

I guest lecture on the following team-taught courses:

  • Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

  • Research Methods and Problems in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies


  • Diasporas of the Middle East
  • Advanced Issues in the Study of the Middle East
  • Research Skills and Methods in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I welcome supervision enquiries on any of these areas: gender and sexuality in the MENA region, Middle Eastern and North African femininities and masculinities, contemporary Arab media, cultural politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

Current PhD students supervised

  • Adam Ferron: Networked Public: Islamic Twitter in Salman's Saudi Arabia
  • Julien Mittre: Gender Discourse in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia
  • Aaliyah Charbenny: Game Sound in Translation: Video Game Localisation for Arab Deaf and Hard of Hearing Players
  • Felicia Campos: Technology, Youth and Transnational Intersectionalityin the Free Palestine Movement through Rap and Hip Hop
  • Moh Alivin: Muslims in the Periphery: Intersectionality of Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Middle Eastern Diaspora Novels

Past PhD students supervised

  • Ameerah Alshehri: The Marvellous Real in the Middle East: A Comparative Study of Magical Realism in Contemporary Women’s Fiction (completed 2022)
  • Jona Fras: Linguistic Practice on Contemporary Jordanian Radio: Publics and Participation (completed 2018)

Research summary

  • Gender and sexuality in the Middle East, particularly Jordan and the Levant
  • Arab feminist media studies
  • Sexuality in Islam
  • Gendered politics of culture in the Levant
  • The mediated constructions of Arab femininity/masculinity
  • The media as sites of hegemony and resistance
  • Micro and discursive media analyses

Knowledge exchange



  • “Masculinity, Heteronormativity, and Subaltern Counterpublics in the Middle East: The Case of Jordan”, University of Aberdeen, Department of Sociology research seminar series (20/03/2019)
  • “Media, Militarism, and Culture: Jordan’s Gendered War on Terror”, University of Exeter, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies research seminar series (27/03/2019)
  • “Hymens, Sex, and Money: Interrogating the Economics of Virginity in the Middle East” - Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin (29/11/2018)
  • “Hymen Reconstruction Surgery In Jordan: Sexual Politics And The Economy Of Virginity” - University of Uppsala, Sweden (08/03/2017)
  • “Producing Feminist Knowledge” - Sexuality in Feminist Discourse and Action in the MENA region, Kohl Journal, Beirut (18/02/2016)



  • Gender in the Middle East: The Context of Arab Refugees in Edinburgh – The Welcoming Association, Edinburgh (12/03/2018, 11/10/2018)
  • Gender activism and EU policies in Jordan – The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin, Germany (28/09/218 – 01/10/2018)
  • TAKE ONE ACTION Film Festival - Invited speaker to post-screening discussion, Edinburgh (21/09/2016)
  • TAKE ONE ACTION Film Festival - Invited speaker to post-screening discussion, Edinburgh (23/09/ 2015)
  • Al Waleed Centre Post-Screening Discussion of the Film Wadjda, Edinburgh (15/05/2015)

View all 12 publications on Research Explorer

Conference details

Papers delivered at the following conferences and workshops:

  • British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Annual Conference, The University of Leeds. 24-26 June 2019.
  • Politics and Popular Culture in the Middle East: Power and Resistance Post-2011 workshop, University of Warwick. 6-8 May 2019.
  • British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Annual Conference, King’s College London. 25-28 June 2018.
  • Gender, Media, and the Middle East International Symposium, University of East Anglia, 19 April 2018.
  • The British Sociological Association Gender, Crime & Media Seminar, Birmingham City University, Birmingham. 8 June 2016.
  • International Conference “Gender in Focus: (New) Trends in Media”, University of Minho, Braga – Portugal. 20-21 June 2014.
  • Media and the Arab Spring – The Road Ahead, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane – Morocco. 11-12 June 2014.
  • The 8th European Feminist Research Conference: The Politics of Location Revisited, Gender@2012, Central European University, Budapest – Hungary. 17 – 20 May 2012.
  • The British Sociological Association’s Annual Conference, The University of Leeds. 13 April 2012.
  • Gender and Women’s Studies in the Arab Region Consortium, The American University of Sharjah – UAE. 7 – 9 March 2012.
  • Pornified? Complicating Debates on the Sexualisation of Culture, the Institute of Education, University of London – UK. 2 December 2011.
  • Gender, Sex and Sexualities Day of Provocations, Durham University. 23 September 2011.
  • Network of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies in Europe summer school, Utrecht - The Netherlands. 23 August 2011.
  • Feminist Teaching: A Discussion on Pedagogy, Politics & Practice, University of York – UK. 14 June 2011.


- The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, 2017 annual conference, The University of Edinburgh

- Arab Women, Media, and Sexuality Conference, 2012, The University of York