Skip to main content

Marwa I. Abdalla

Ph.D. Student

Marwa Abdalla is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at UC San Diego where she is a Jacobs Fellow. Her current research interests relate generally to racism and racialization, media representations of Islam and Muslims, and how legacies of imperialism and Orientalism continue to inform both conservative and liberal/progressive politics. Her research has been recognized with several top paper awards at national and regional conferences, as well as with the President’s Award for Research, the Young Scholar Award for Outstanding Research on American Muslims, and the National Communication Association’s John T. Warren Award. She is a certified educator with The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), a Washington-D.C.-based research and education organization that focuses on American Muslims and speaks regularly to diverse audiences about the challenges of Islamophobia and xenophobia.

Marwa Abdalla received her B.A. in political science from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, her M.A. from the School of Communication at San Diego State University, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of Communication at UC San Diego where she is a recipient of the Jacobs Fellowship from the Division of Social Sciences.
Coming soon

Work in Progress

Abdalla, M., Chen, Y. (2020). “So, it’s like you’re swimming against the tide”: Avowing and Parenting as Intersectional Muslim Women in the United States. Journal of International & Intercultural Communication, Submitted March 2020. Revised and resubmitted July 2020.

Book Chapters and Professional Reports

Abdalla, M. (2018). Covering American Muslims Creatively and Objectively: A Guide for Media Professionals. Washington, DC: Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. 

Abdalla, M. (2003). A simple smile, Toward the Benefit of Humanity. Georgetown, TX: Southwestern University Press. 

Competitively Selected Papers

  1. Abdalla, M., Chen, Y. (2020, November). ‘Islam is supposed to make people good’: Muslim mothers communicating identities and socialization practices to challenge Islamophobia. Paper presented virtually at the 2020 annual National Communication Association Conference.
  2. Abdalla, M., Chen, Y. (2020, February). ‘So, It's Like You're Swimming Against the Tide': The Communication and Negotiation of Identities Among Muslim Mothers in the United States. Paper presented at the 2020 annual Western States Communication Association Conference in Denver, CO (Top Paper; Communication, Identities and Difference Division). 
  3. Abdalla, M., Winslow, L. (2019, November). Greater than fear: Visualizing Inclusion in American protest rhetoric. Paper presented at the 2019 annual National Communication Association Conference in Baltimore, MD. 
  4. Abdalla, M. (2019, November). A communication model of religious identity. Paper submitted to the 2019 annual Religious Communication Association Conference in Baltimore, MD (Top Student Paper). 
  5. Abdalla, M. (2019, November). The Performance(s) of a Lifetime, A Lifetime of Performances: An Auto-Archaeology of Religious and Cultural Identities. Paper submitted to the 2019 annual National Communication Association Conference in Baltimore, MD (John T. Warren Award for Best Student Paper; Top Paper, Ethnography Division). 
  6. Abdalla, M. (2019, November). The (un)changing rhetoric of hijab. Paper presented at the 2019 annual Conference on Racism and Religion at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism in Uppsala, Sweden. 
  7. Abdalla, M. (2018, April). The negotiation and communication of religious identity among Muslim- minority populations: A theoretical model. Paper presented at the 2018 annual International Islamophobia Conference, Center for Race and Gender, U.C. California, Berkeley. 
  8. Abdalla, M. (2017, April). Rhetorical insights on ‘Islamic feminism’. Paper presented at the 2017 annual California State Student Research Symposium, Sacramento, California
  9. Abdalla, M. (2017, April). The rhetorical functions of hijab. Paper presented at the 2017 annual International Islamophobia Conference, Center for Race and Gender, U.C. California, Berkeley. 
  10. Abdalla, M, Cureton, J., Jennings, J. (2017, November). “How do I explain this to my children?: An auto-Ethnographic investigation of mother-child communication surrounding gender, race, and religion. Paper presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender in Omaha, Nebraska.