“She was approached by many universities and gender research centers abroad – in the UK and US – but she chose staying at Jordan University because she believed she owed it to her country and students to give back.”
Name: Rula B. Quawas
Academic Rank: Professor
Year Rank Obtained: August 2009
Specialization: American Literature and Feminism
Research Interests: American Women Writers, Arab Women Writers, American and Arab Feminisms, Women’s Studies
Bachelor: University of Jordan, Jordan, 1981
Master: University of Jordan, Jordan, 1991
Ph.D.: University of North Texas, USA, 1995
Brief Bio: Upon graduation with a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of North Texas in the USA, Rula Quawas began teaching a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses pertaining to American Literature in the English Department at the University of Jordan. Rula was the first one to introduce and to teach feminist courses in the English Department, focusing on American feminism and its intricate complexities. She also taught Arab feminism and contemporary Arab women writers in translation to CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) students at the University.
Rula’s research focused on feminist readings of American and Arabic texts written by women writers. She wrote and published numerous essays in English on Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Ellen Glasgow, Agnes Smedley, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emily Dickinson, Marilyn French, Doris Lessing, Nawal El-Saadawi, Huda Shaarawi, and many others. She also co-authored three English Language textbooks that are used for freshmen courses at the University of Jordan. She also served on many editorial boards such as the Journal of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Education, Studies in Literature in English, and the International Journal of Arabic-English Studies.
Rula was honored as a distinguished international scholar in the USA in 1994, and she was also awarded the Meritorious Honor Award for Leadership and Dedication to the empowerment of Jordanian women by HRH Princess Basma in 2009. She was often invited to give talks on Arab feminism to American delegates who visit Jordan and to American students in the USA. Her passion for intellectually charged conversations with academics from different cultures is noted by scholars from the different corners of the globe.
Rula served on several committees that support and promote awareness of women’s issues and enhance women’s participation in all sectors of society. She founded the Women’s Studies Center at the University of Jordan and was its Director for two years, 2006-2008. She also founded the Knowledge Production Unit at the Jordanian National Commission for Women in Feb. 2009 and was its director for one year. She was committed to empowering women and community members to become strong advocates for gender equity and social justice. Her dream was to forge new pathways and to see women fulfil their aspirations and become what they are capable of becoming. Rula Quawas strongly believed that dreams do come true.