Faedah Totah

Faedah M. Totah, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

International Studies Coordinator

14 N. Laurel St., room 3000

international studies


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A., Arab Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • B.A., Anthropology, Wellesley College


Faedah M. Totah, Ph.D., is associate professor of International Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and teaches courses on globalization, development, urbanism, and the Middle East. She is currently secretary of the Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA), a section of the AmericanAnthropological Association (AAA), and contributing editor to Anthropology News.

Totah’s work focuses on gentrification, historic preservation, neoliberal urbanism, and urban refugees in Damascus. She has lived and traveled widely in the Middle East. She spent over two years in Damascus Syria exploring the social and economic impact of gentrification on the Old City of Damascus in Syria. The results of this research were the subject of the book Preserving the Old City of Damascus published in 2014 by Syracuse University Press. She has authored several articles dealing with Syria and the Middle East. Currently, she is researching the relationship between Palestine and Syria and completing a manuscript on Palestinian urban refugees in the Old City of Damascus.

Select Publications

  • Totah, F. M. (2014). Preserving the Old City of Damascus. Syracuse University Press.
  • Totah, F. M. (2014). Nothing has changed: Social Continuity and Gentrification in the Old City of Damascus. Anthropological Quarterly, 87(4), 1195-1221.
  • Totah, F. M. (2013). The memory keeper: Gender, nation, and remembering in Syria. Journal of Middle East Women Studies, 9(1), 1-29.
  • Totah, F. M. (2012). The making of the Old City: Suq al-Hamidiya in Damascus. In M. Gharipour (Ed.), The bazaar in the Islamic city: Design, culture, and history .(75-96). Cairo; New York: American University in Cairo Press, 75-96.
  • Totah, F. M. (2009). Return to the origin: Negotiating the modern and unmodern in the Old City of Damascus. City and Society, 21(1), 58-81.