CAWO ABDI - Sociology

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Office Address: Department of Sociology

909 Social Science Building, 267 19th Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN 55455

Tel: 612-624-3714/612-702-3462

Fax: 612-624-7020



PhD: Department of Sociology, University of Sussex, UK, 2006.

Thesis Title: Diasporic Lives and Threatened Identities: Gender Struggles of Somalis in America.

Certificate on Refugee Issues: Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada, 2003.

MA: Sociology/International Development Studies, University of Guelph, Canada, 2002.

Diplôme d’Études Françaises (deuxième degré): l'Université de Nice-Sophie Antipolis, Nice,

France, 1997.

BSocSc: Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada, 1995.


Assistant Professor: Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, August 2008-Present.

Graduate faculty: Population studies, University of Minnesota, Fall 2008-Present.

Visiting Lecturer: Department of Sociology/Institute of Global Studies/Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, January 2007 to May 2008.

Graduate Research Assistant: York University, May to August 2003, Women and Islam: Critical Concepts in Sociology, edited by: Haideh Moghissi, Routledge, 2004.

Graduate Teaching Assistant: York University, September 2002 to April 2003.

Graduate Teaching Assistant: University of Guelph, September 2000 to April 2002.

Graduate Research Assistant: Cultural Studies Centre, University of Guelph, January 2001 to April 2002.


• Migration

• Transnationalism

• Islam

• Gender

• Family

• Identity

• Globalization

• Development Studies

• Forced Displacement



Abdi, Cawo. 2007. “Convergence of Civil War and the Religious Right: Re-Imagining Somali Women,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 33: 1: 183-207

Abdi, Cawo M. 2007. “The New Age of Security: Implications for Refugees and IDPs in the Horn of Africa,” Development 50:4: 75-81.

Abdi, Awa Mohamed. 2006. “Refugees, Gender Based Violence and Resistance: A Case Study of Somali Women in Kenyan Camps.” Pp. 231-251, in Gender Migration and Citizenship: Making Local, National and Transnational Connections, edited by Evangelia Tastsoglou and Alexandria Dobrowolsky (editors), Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Abdi, Awa M. 2005. “In Limbo: Dependency, Insecurity and Identity Amongst Somali Refugees

in Dadaab Camps,” Refuge: Canadian Periodical on Refugee issues 22: 2: 6-14.


Abdi, Cawo M. 2008. “Contested Norms and Values in Transnational Families.”Pp. 164-167. in Global Families, edited by Meg Wilkes Karraker, Pearson Education.

Abdi, Awa 2004. “Refugee Camps: Where is the Light?” Journal of the Anglo-Somali Society No 35: 12-15.

Reprinted Works

Abdi, Cawo. 2007. “Convergence of Civil War and the Religious Right: Re-Imagining Somali Women,” Pp. 279-303. Feminist Perspectives on War and Terror, edited by Karen Alexander and Mary Hawkesworth, University of Chicago Press.

Abdi, Cawo. 2005. “In Limbo: Dependency, Insecurity and Identity Amongst Somali Refugees

in Dadaab Camps,” Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies, Volume 5, 2005.


Helga Leitner and Cawo Abdi, Thursday, June 19, 2008, “World Refugee Day event to honor new

Minnesotans' tenacity, generosity.” MinnPost.


“Transnational Imaginations and Local Realities: Refugees, Remittances and Dreams of Return,” to be submitted to International Migration Review.

“Gendered Experiences: Diasporic Opportunities, Challenges and Threatened Identities,” to be submitted to Gender and Society.


“Evaluation of October 2004 UK Home Office Country Information Policy Unit (CIPU) Report on Somalia,” January 2005, Co-authored with Professor Richard Black, University Sussex Centre for Migration Research.

“Evaluation of October 2003 UK Home Office Country Information Policy Unit (CIPU) Report on Somalia,” March 2004, Co-authored with Professor Richard Black, University of Sussex Centre for Migration Research, ().

“The Impact of the National Security Agenda on Racialized Women: Bringing Us Out of The Policy Ghetto and into the Development of National Policy, Strategies and Solutions,” 2004, National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada (NOIVMWC), Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) and Status of Women Canada, Co-authored with Anu Radha Bose, PhD, Lise Martin, MA, and Hamdi Mohamed, PhD.

“How Long is Too Long? Durable Solutions for Dadaab Refugees,” June 2003, CARE Canada, Co-authored with Professor Howard Adelman, York University, Canada.


Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada

(SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship 2005 $20,000

The Commonwealth Scholarship (UK) 2003-2006 £16,000/yr for 3 yrs

Ontario Graduate Scholarship 2003 $10,000 (Declined)

Mackenzie King Scholarship 2002 $10,000

York University Entrance Scholarship 2002 $6000

University of Guelph

Registrar's Travel Scholarship for Graduate Studies 2001 $2500

University Graduate Scholarship 2000 $2000

University Graduate Scholarship 2001 $2000

Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarship 2001 $1630

University of Guelph Graduate Travel Scholarship 2001 $1000

Registrar's Award for Graduate Students 2001 $1000

Alumni Research Travel Scholarship 2001 $625

International Field Studies Grant 2001 $537

John Black Graduate Travel Scholarship 2001 $500


“Diasporic Gender Relations: Consolidated or contested?” The British Sociological Association

Annual Conference, Harrogate, UK, April 2006.

“Gender and Religious Reinterpretation in the Horn of Africa,” MacArthur Program for

International Studies, University of Minnesota, February 2005.

“Re-imagining Somali Women: Civil War and Prominence of the Religious Right,” African

Studies Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, November 2004.

“The Refugee Experience of Pursuing Higher Education in the Diaspora,” Somalis in America:

The Challenges of Adaptation Conference, Macalester College, St. Paul, July 2004.

“Violence Against Refugee Women: A Kenyan Case Study,” Canadian Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities Conference, Halifax, May 2003.

“Security Concerns of Somali Refugee Women in Kenyan camps,” University of California at

Berkeley, Conference: Boundaries in Question: Women & War, April 2002.

“Security Concerns of Somali Refugee Women in Kenyan Camps,” University of Guelph Anthropology and Sociology Conference, Guelph, March 2002.


University of Minnesota, December 3, 2008, Immigration and History Research Center, global Race, Ethnicity, Migration seminar series: Title of paper: Transnationalism and Gender Dynamics in Minnesota Context.

College of St. Catherine, October 29, 2008, Somali Migrations to East Africa, southern African and the United States

University of Minnesota, May 6, 2008. Sociology of Gender undergraduate class.

Lecture: Islamic Feminism.

University of Illinois at Chicago, April 18 and 19, Department of African American Studies, Black Migrations and the New African Diaspora Workshop, Paper: Gendered Worlds: Remittance Practices and Imaginings of Home.

University of Minnesota, March 24, 2008, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies seminar Series,

Paper: Transnational Imaginations and Gendered Realities: Somali Refugees, Remittances and Dreams of Return.

University of Pretoria, May 22, 2007, Sociology Department: Women and Gender Violence in Refugee Camps, (presented to a Graduate Theory course, and also to an Introduction to Sociology course).

University of Pretoria, May 25, 2007, Sociology Departmental Seminar: Changes and Continuities in Somali Gender Relation in the Diaspora.

University of Sussex, May 2005, MSc Research Methods Seminar Series, Lecture: The Pitfalls of Fieldwork.

University of Minnesota, March 2005, WoSt 3003: Gender and Global Politics, Professor Richa Nagar, Lecture: Re-imagining Somali Women: the Collusion of Civil War and the Religious Right.

University of Guelph, November 2001, Soc-3410 Individual and Society, Professor Neil J. MacKinnon, Winter 2002, Lecture: Researching in Refugee Camps.

University of Guelph, February 2002, SOAN 2040: Globalization of Work and Organizations, Professor: Viviane Shalla, Lecture: Refugee Camps and Livelihoods.


• Introduction to Sociology

• Transnational Migration

• Family and Gender in the Islamic World

Additional Teaching Interests:

• Sociology of the Family

• Sociology of Gender

• Qualitative Research Methods

• Sociology of Migration

• Sociology of Globalization


Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies, Macalester College.


NPR interview with Tod Melby on family planning in the East African communities; February 10, 2008

BBC World Service (Somali):-Somali Youth and Migration: Challenges and opportunities,

aired June 20, 2008.

BBC World Service (Somali): Somali Refugee Women in the Diaspora and in

Refugee Camps (Barnaamijka Maalinta Dumarka, Xaaladda Dumarka Qoxootiga ee Soomaaliyeed), aired March 04, 2004, 6 P.M., for the occasion of World Women’s Day 2004.


• American Sociological Association (ASA)

• African Studies Association (ASA)


Professor Richard Black (PhD Advisor)

Director, Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty

University of Sussex

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SJ

Tel: +44 1273 877090



Dr Lesley McMillan (PhD Advisor)

Director of Gender Studies

Lecturer in Sociology

Arts D325

University of Sussex

Falmer, Brighton


Tel: +44(0)1273 877473


Professor Ann Whitehead (Internal Examiner)

Department of Social Anthropology

Arts C 245

University of Sussex

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SN

Tel: +44 1273 877008


Professor Emeritus Howard Adelman (Co-investigator of Dadaab Refugee Research Project)

York University

(Founder of the Refugee Studies Centre, York University, Canada)

Current Position: Research Professor

Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance,

Griffith, University, Brisbane, Australia

Tel: 416-533-5012

Email: howardadelman@


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