Ariel is a Ph.D. candidate in Gender Studies with a minor in Sociology, and will defend her dissertation in October 2018. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, and religion, with an emphasis on identity formation across the public and private spheres. Her dissertation, “Embodied Constitution: Muslim Religious Identity Dynamics and the New American Racialization,” examines how religious identity is constructed by and for Muslims in the US contemporarily in the context of discourses around gender, sexuality, and race. The project engages with historical and recent laws, policies, and interpersonal interactions, and interweaves gender and sexuality theories, transcategorical identity discourses, theories of racialization, legal theories and cases, material theory, and affect theory to understand contemporary Muslim identities and experiences.
Ariel previously conducted research on modes of socialization about gender and sexuality among Sunni Muslim men in Beirut, Lebanon. She has also worked at NGOs focusing on domestic and international informal educational programs from curricular development through programmatic monitoring and evaluation.