For Janet Abu-Lughod (August 3, 1928 – December 14, 2013)

1:04 PM

On Friday February 21st, a memorial was held for Janet Abu-Lughod at the New School.  The following note by Prof. Kumru Toktamis is written in tribute to her friend and mentor's life and scholarship.


Janet Abu-Lughod 
 (August 3, 1928 – December 14, 2013)

I am saddened by the loss of this intellectual giant, exemplary fighter and loving mentor. We had dinner right after Eric Hobsbawm's memorial in October. With her keen gaze and red cheeks she was aware she was among her students who admired her and participated in our lively conversation with appreciative smiles.

Among hundreds of wonderful memories of her, from Istanbul to New York, my favorite was when I visited her right after the Arab "Spring" and Occupy Wall Street. I was full of excitement and a need to share with her my son Mavi's activism at Zuccotti Park, as well as my time in Libya.

Since she was having difficulty talking, I went on and on. Finally I asked her, "So Janet, what do you think?" Her response was straight: "Kumru I don't think anymore. I thought a lot and I said what I wanted to say. Now it is..."  Listening intently, I thought she was going to say, "it is your turn."  She said, "Now it is Mavi's turn.”

Mavi is now an undergraduate at the New School; I am still teaching her books to my students; and she remains a very big part of our intellectual and political life.

Kumru Toktamis
Pratt Institute


The eight circuits of the Thirteenth century world system. Janet Abu-Lughod, "Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350". http://lxsmuchxs.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/il1.gif
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