Assistant Professor of Arab Crossroads Studies
Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: PhD, Oxford University
Research Areas: Contemporary Politics of the Middle East and North Africa; Religion & Politics; Secularism; Islamist Movements; Gender & Politics; Comparative Politics of Democratic Transitions
Monica Marks is a scholar of Islamist movements, gender, and politics in the Middle East and North Africa, Her research focuses on broad topics across the region and beyond, but especially in regards to the tensions between pluralism and state power in the two countries where she's lived longest: Tunisia and Turkey. Prior to joining NYUAD, Dr. Marks was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affaris. She completed her PhD, an ethnographic study of post-2011 Tunisian politics based on over 1,200 in-country interviews, in 2018 at St Antony's College, Oxford.
A first-generation college student from rural Kentucky, Dr. Marks studied in Tanzania, Tunisia, and Jordan, and in Turkey as a Fulbright Scholar, before completing her Masters and PhD at Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar. During her graduate studies, Dr. Marks was based primarily in Tunisia (2011-2016) and Turkey (2016-2018), where she published academic work and more public-facing analysis for leading North American and European think tanks, along with publications like Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, for which she also freelanced briefly as a journalist. Dr. Marks is passionate about mentoring students, facilitating creative fieldwork in and beyond the MENA region, and bringing academic research into greater conversation with journalism, policy-related analysis, and public-facing conversation.