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Current SFSU faculty members with teaching
or research interests in Arab and Islamic cultures


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Fred Astren, Jewish Studies. Fred teaches a comparative religions course that deals with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He also teaches courses on the history of the Jewish people, including in the Middle East. His research is on Jews in the Islamic world during the Caliphate and on the Islamization of the Middle East. His PhD is from U.C. Berkeley.

Sanjoy Banerjee, International Relations. Sanjoy teaches courses on south and southeast Asia, regions that account for more than half of the world's Muslims. His own research has been on the partition of India and on India-Pakistan issues. He is currently working on a grant proposal, to be submitted to the Department of Education, to create a center for the study of global Muslim relations (tentative title), which would focus on relations between members of the Muslim world and between members of the Muslim world and the rest of the world. Sanjoy's PhD is from Yale.

Maziar Behrooz, History. Maziar teaches upper-division history courses on the history of the Islamic world, one covering the period up to the 18th century and the other on the period since about 1700. The focus of the first course is on the region between the Oxus and Nile rivers and the focus of the second is on the Ottoman empire, the Persian revolutions, and the rise of nationalism. His research is on 19th and 20th century Iran. His PhD is from UCLA.

Carel Bertram, Humanities. Carel's specialty is the history of Islamic art and architecture, and she teaches courses ranging from illuminated manuscripts to sacred and ritual spaces. Using case studies from North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and the Ottoman Balkans, she shows the rich history of Islamic urban visual culture as it has been produced, shared, and interpreted by a diverse and cosmopolitan population. Her own research focuses on cultural and collective memory as it was defined in the post-Ottoman world through the interplay of literature and architecture, and nuanced by issues of gender, ethnicity, belief, or confessional affiliation. Carel's PhD is from UCLA.

Hamid Khani, Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts. Hamid teaches courses in media communication, media literacy, and visual communication. His media literacy curriculum includes image analysis, visual theories, visual persuasion, and pictorial stereotyping. His research emphasis is in the areas of visual communication and multi-culturalism. He has presented numerous lectures and presentations on cultures and visual communication and is currently working on a research project analyzing media coverage of the Islamic World since the events of September 11, 2001. Hamid's doctorate, from the University of San Francisco, is in Learning and Instruction, and he is a practicing TV/media producer and director.

Minoo Moallem, Women Studies. Minoo teaches courses on immigrant and refugee women, on women in the Muslim and Arab worlds, and on consciousness and resistance. Her own research focuses on transnational and postcolonial feminist theories, gender and modernity in Iran, religious and cultural nationalist and fundamentalist movements in the Muslim world, and Iranian diaspora in North America and Europe. She is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Women Studies. Her PhD is from the University of Montreal.

Hafez Modirzadeh, Music. Hafez teaches courses on music of the Middle East. He is an assistant professor and was first appointed to SFSU in 1998. His research involves musical cross-culturalism between the Islamic world and Africa/Asia and covers aspects of Sufism as well. His PhD is from Wesleyan in ethnomusicology, and he is also a practicing jazz musician/composer.

Jarbel Rodriguez, History. Jarbel teaches courses on medieval Europe, which necessarily involves Christian-Muslim relations. He may also offer a course on the Mediterranean world from late antiquity to the early modern period. His research is on medieval Spain and aspects of its relations with nearby Muslim regions. His PhD is from Princeton.

Amita Shastri, Political Science. Amita presents a course on south Asian politics. Her PhD is from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Matthew Shenoda, College of Ethnic Studies. Matthew will be offering a course on Contemporary Arab and Arab-American Literature in the Spring. His research interests include Arab-American literature, Arab literature in translation, transnational Arab identity, and media representation. He is currently at work on a research project examining environmental degradation in Egypt through poetry. He currently serves on the Education Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. His MFA in Creative Writing is from the University of Arizona.

Dwight Simpson, International Relations. Dwight presents courses on the international relations of the Middle East. His PhD is from Stanford University.

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Last modified January 13, 2003, by the Office of Public Affairs