Su’ad Abdul Khabeer is a scholar-artist-activist who uses anthropology and performance to explore the intersections of race and popular culture. Su'ad is currently an associate professor of American Culture and Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Princeton University and is a graduate from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and completed the Islamic Studies diploma program of the Institute at Abu Nour University (Damascus). Her latest work, Muslim Cool: Race, Religion and Hip Hop in the United States (NYU Press 2016), is an ethnography on Islam and hip hop that examines how intersecting ideas of Muslimness and Blackness challenge and reproduce the meanings of race in the US. Su’ad’s written work on Islam and hip hop is accompanied by her performance ethnography, Sampled: Beats of Muslim Life. Sampled is a one-woman solo performance designed to present and represent her research and findings to diverse audiences as part of her commitment to public scholarship.
In line with this commitment Su’ad leads Sapelo Square, the first website dedicated to the comprehensive documentation and analysis of the Black US American Muslim experience. She has also written for The Root, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Ebony Magazine, the Huffington Post, Religious Dispatches and Trans/Missions, and has appeared on Al Jazeera English. Additionally, Su’ad is a Senior Project Advisor for the US Public Television award-winning documentary, New Muslim Cool and her poetry was featured in the anthology Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak. In 2018, Su’ad was profiled as one of 25 influential American Muslims by CNN. Su’ad is a 2019 Soros Equality Fellow. The fellowship program, which funds innovation in racial justice, will support her next major work, Umi’s Archive.