Louise Canikar
Associate Professor
Office:  366 Lalumiere Hall

Phone:  (414) 288-5714

Contact via e-mail

Associate Professor Louise Cainkar discussed research she conducted for her book Homeland Insecurity on Chicago Tonight.

Dr. Cainkar is a sociologist in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University, teaching courses in the social welfare and justice, sociology and anthropology majors.  Her areas of expertise include Arab American studies; Muslims in the United States, and Migration and Immigrant Integration.  She has published extensively on Arab American demographics and on their experiences as they intersect with notions of race, the US Census, US foreign policies, and immigrant economic niches.  Her recent award-winning book, Homeland Insecurity:  The Arab American and Muslim American Experience after 9/11 (2009, Russell Sage Foundation) draws upon extensive field work and ethnographic interviews while engaging a range of sociological theories and multi-disciplinary perspectives.  In 2004 Dr. Cainkar won the prestigious Carnegie Scholar Award to study the reinvigoration of Islamic practices among second generation Muslim Americans. In addition to the U.S., Cainkar has conducted research in Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Yemen, studying, for example, the impact of economic sanctions on women and children and the forced migration of Palestinians and Jordanians from Kuwait.  Professor Cainkar received and ACOR/CAORC Senior Research Fellowship to conduct her current comparative study of Second Generation Arab American Muslim teenagers living transnational lives in Yemen, Palestine, and Jordan.

Dr. Cainkar published a number of scholarly articles and chapters based on the early findings of her post 9/11 study.  These include a chapter in John Tirman's edited book The Maze of Fear:  Security & Mitigation After September 11th (New York:  The New York Press) Spring, 2004, which is available in summary form from the Social Science Research Council as "The Impact of The September 11 Attacks and their Aftermath on Arab and Muslim Communities in the United States," GSC Quarterly 13 (Summer/Fall 2004).  Subsequent articles based on her Post 9/11 study as well as on other research are listed below under publications.

Cainkar received the prestigious Carnegie Corporation Scholar Award in 2004 for her work on Islamic revival in the United States, in which she examined domestic and transnational factors that play a role in the appeal of Islam and a life of faith to second-generation Arab and South Asian Americans. Cainkar argues that we need look beyond immigration and demography to understand increases in the practice of Islam in the U.S.

Professor Cainkar has been a consulting scholar for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs project on Muslim American Political Voice and the Social Science Research Council's (SSRC) project “Reframing the Challenge of Migration and Security.” Her background paper for this project “US Muslim Leaders and Activists Evaluate Post 9/11 Domestic Security Policies” is available on-line.

Professor Cainkar has presented her research internationally including at the Institute for Diplomacy in Amman, Jordan and the Danish National Institute of Social Research, and has participated in joint meetings with French scholars of Muslims at Stanford University and in Nantes, France. In June 2008 Cainkar presented at the British Library with Muslim activities and scholars of Muslims living in Britain, Germany, and France during a meeting on Muslim-Government Relations organized by the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at SOAS; the Social Science Research Council (SSRC); the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); the German Marshall Fund (GMF) and the Council for European Studies (CES). She has also presented papers at Harvard University's International Conference on Transatlantic Islamophobia and the University of California at Berkeley Conference on Deconstructing Islamophobia.

In addition to scholar research, Professor Cainkar has spent her career committed to public sociology by conducting community research and needs assessments in partnership with non-profits and community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of various non-profit agencies, and publishing in scholarly magazines that reach broad audiences.  In partnership with the Arab American Action Network she conducted a study of barriers and resources affecting domestic violence intervention in Arab/Muslim families. She completed a study Assessing the Need, Addressing the Problem:  Working with Disadvantaged Muslim Immigrant Families and Communities") for the Annie E. Casey Foundation on the capacity of American Muslim community institutions to provide services to low-income Muslims.

Other Recent Publications

"American Muslims at the Dawn of the 21st Century:  Hope and Pessimism in the Drive for Civic Inclusion" in Muslims in the West after 9/11:  Religion, Politics and Law, Jocelyne Cesari, editor.  (London:  Routeledge), pp. 176-197, 2010.

"Thinking Outside the Box:  Arabs and Race in the US in From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects:  "Race" and Arab Americans Before and After September 11th.  Amaney Jamal and Nadine Naber, eds. (Syracuse:  Syracuse University Press), 2007.

"Using Sociological Theory to Defuse Anti-Arab/Muslin Nativism and Accelerate Social Change" Journal of Applied Sociology (American Sociological Association; Section on Public Sociology). Vol. 1, #1: 7-15, 2007.

"The Arab American Experience."  Immigration, Incorporation and Transnationalism, Elliott Barkan, editor. (New Jersey:  Transaction Publishers).  Pp. 225-226.  2007.

"Immigrants from the Arab World" in John Koval, Michael Bennett, et al, editors, The New Chicago. (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press). 2006.

 “The Social Construction of Difference and the Arab American Experience” Journal of American Ethnic History. Twenty Fifth Anniversary Issue. Immigration, Incorporation, Integration, and Transnationalism: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives. Vol. 25: Volume 2-3. Winter-Spring. 2006.

 “Criminalization and Cultural Citizenship: Arab and South Asian Muslims in the United States” Amerasia Journal, Vol 31, # 3. 2006. With Sunaina Maira.

 “Space and Place in the Metropolis: Arabs and Muslims Seeking Safety ” City and Society, Vol. 17, #2. 2005. (Berkeley: University of California Press)

 “Violence Unveiled”. Contexts. (Washington DC: American Sociological Association). Vol.14, No.4. Fall. 2005.

“Islamic Revival Among Second-generation Arab Muslims in Chicago: The American Experience and Globalization Intersect” Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies. 6 (2):99-120. Autumn/Winter. 2004.

Editor, Journal of Comparative Studies of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, Special Issue on Global Impacts of the September 11th attacks. (Duke University Press). Winter. 2004.

"No Longer Invisible:  Arab and Muslim Exclusion After September 11th Middle East Report (Washington DC:  MERIP) Fall, Volume 224, 2003, pp. 22-29.

Targeting Muslim at Ashcroft's Discretion" Middle East Report On-Line (Washington DC:  MERIP) March 14, 2003.

"A Fervor for Muslims:  Special Registrations:  Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Volume 7, #2 2003.  Pp. 73-101.

"Migration as a Method of Coping with Turbulence among Palestinians" Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Special Issue on the Middle East.  Winter, 2003.  With Ali Abunimah and Lamia Rai", pp. 229-240.


All American Yemeni Girls: Being Muslim in a Public School

Anthropology and Education Quarterly. volume 37, # 1. 2005. (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Culture, Class, and Work Among Arab American Women

by Jen’nan Ghazal Read. (New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2004, 161 pp.) in Work and Occupations: An International Sociology Journal (Sage Publications). 2005


Social and Cultural Sciences Majors

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Criminology and Law Studies
Social Welfare and Justice