Karen Pfeifer

Professor Emerita of Economics

Karen Pfeifer

Contact & Office Hours

Tilly Hall 101



Ph.D., American University


Karen Pfeifer became a professor of economics at Smith in 1979, served twice in the Smith College administration, and has been an editor of Research in Middle East Economics and of Middle East Report.

Pfeifer’s main teaching fields include alternative economic theory and comparative economic systems, with research focused on economic development and social change in the Middle East and North Africa. She was named a Fulbright senior scholar twice, in 1993–94 and 2001–02, and has done research in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey and the Palestinian territories.

Scholarly projects in recent years include changing economies in North Africa and Egypt since the Arab Spring, neoliberalism and the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, possibilities for a new economic agenda in Tunisia and Egypt, including economic justice for women, and the relationship between the field of economics and Middle East Studies.