Department of Political Science
Office Location: 222 Anderson Hall
Areas of Specialization: Middle Eastern Politics, Jewish and Islamic Studies
Patricia J. Sohn (formerly Patricia J. Woods) received her Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Modern Middle East Politics from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2001. She received her M.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Florida, focusing on Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies, in 1991. She received her B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Florida, focusing on Jewish Studies and Islamic Studies, in 1989. Between her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, she did participant-observation research on Arab-Jewish relations, living in Haifa. She speaks Hebrew and French; studied advanced Arabic for several years at the University of Florida, Haifa University, Birzeit University, and the University of Washington in Seattle; and has done elementary work in several other languages. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Birkbeck College of Law, University of London; Group d’Analyses des Politiques Publiques, ENS-Cachan, France; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Political Science; and Tel Aviv University, Department of Anthropology and Sociology. She has received major grants for her research from the National Science Foundation (SES#9906136); three from the Social Science Research Council; the Dorot Foundation; and the Office of the Provost, University of Florida.
Dr. Sohn specializes on issues of law and courts, religion and politics, and gender politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She has published on these issues extensively in Israel, particularly within the Jewish community, and to a lesser degree in relation to Palestinian women. She has published, with a Turkish colleague, on Ottoman and Turkish institutional legacies in relation to state formation and (cultural and institutional) traditions of governance informing the post-Arab Spring era in the Middle East and North Africa. Her current projects address religion and politics in comparative perspective; and human rights, civil society and legal development, particularly in relation to Israel and Palestinians.