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Middle East Studies Program

Participating Faculty


Faculty Affiliates (in alphabetical order)

Ahmad Borazan (Economics) Dr.Ahmad Borazan received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Utah. His research interests are in Macroeconomics, Political Economy, and Economic History. He is currently conducting research on the role income distribution plays in fostering political and economic outcomes in the US history and present, and the political economy of rural Syria. He teaches classes on Macroeconomics and the Political Economy of the Middle East. Dr. Borazan joined the Department of Economics in the Fall of 2016.Partow

Hooshmandrad (Ethnomusicology) Partow Hooshmandrad holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has done extensive research on the cultural heritage of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq (Yarsan) of Guran since 2000.As a scholar and a musician she specializes in the devotional practices of the Ahl-i Haqq including the musical repertoire, the texts, and the rituals, as well as Iranian classical music. She has won several awards for her research endeavors including generous grants from the National Geographic Conservation Trust Fund, Alfred Hertz Memorial Scholarships, the Kurdish National Congress, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Al-Falah Program for Islamic Studies (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley).She has written and presented papers on various aspects of Ahl-i Haqq life, Iranian classical music, and other musical practices of Iran. Hooshmandrad has also appeared on KPFA radio Berkeley and performed for the Marin League of the San Francisco Symphony.As the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Endowed Faculty in Persian Language & Culture, she currently teaches at California State University, Fresno, Department of Music, and is actively involved in the development of the Persian Language an Culture and Middle East Studies programs.  Prior to joining the academic community at California State University, Fresno, Partow taught at the University of Kurdistan, Hawler, in the Federal Region of Kurdistan, Iraq.

Mary Husain (Communication & Media, Communications and Journalism) The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno selected CineCulture as a recipient for its 2018 Spirit of Abraham Award, “in large part due to the personal efforts of Dr. Mary Husain.” This award is given to groups and/or individuals who significantly contribute to enhancing the understanding of Islam and Muslims. She also received the “Way of Peace Award” in 2017 from Fresno Center for Nonviolence on behalf of CineCulture. Dr. Husain holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from CSU, Fresno/UC Davis, Joint Doctoral Program, and a M.A. in Communication from Fresno State. Her research focuses on the impacts of media representation of the Middle East and Islam. In 2018 she received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Lecturer, and an article she co-authored, Securing Afghan Women: Neo-Colonialism, Epistemic Violence, and the Rhetoric of the Veil, is one of the most frequently cited articles in the academy. She serves on the Beth Harnish and Center for Creativity and the Arts Committees.

Rose Marie Kuhn (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, French Program Coordinator) Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn grew up in Belgium as a German-speaking Swiss in a French and Dutch speaking environment.  She holds a B.A., in German and Dutch, from the Université Saint-Louis Saint-Louis, in Brussels, Belgium, and an M.A. in German from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Louvain, Belgium.  She received an M.A. in French and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  She regularly offers a GE-IC course, French 149, “Voices of Africa,” has taught several courses on the literatures and cultures of the French-speaking world and postcolonial Francophone literature, and often guest-lectures on the literatures and cultures of the French-speaking Maghreb and the Mediterranean Basin.  She was awarded several travel grants for her research in Francophone studies by the French Government, the Joint Berkeley-Stanford Center for African Studies, and the West African Research Association (WARA).  Her publications, papers, and workshops are in the fields of French and Francophone cultural studies, postcolonial literature in French, and the pedagogical application of technology. 

Alison Mandaville (English, English Education and Credentialing Coordinator) Alison Mandaville received her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in Creative Writing and PhD in Literature from the University of Washington. She was a Fulbright lecturer in Azerbaijan (2007-8) and has received a number of grants (UNESCO, Open Society Institute) for her work with colleagues there in support of the literary arts, particularly with women poets. Her interviews with writers and translations of poetry and short stories from the Azerbaijani have appeared in World Literature Today and Two Lines. Her articles on language and culture in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region have appeared in ImageText, The International Journal of Comic Arts, Khazar University Journal of the Humanities and in two book collections: Reflections on Knowledge and Language in Middle Eastern Societies  and Interrogating Illiberal Peace in Eurasia: Critical Perspectives on Peace and Conflict. At Fresno State she coordinates the English Education and Teacher Credentialing programs, as well as the new BA Liberal Arts degree completion program. She teaches courses in literacy pedagogies, multi-ethnic literatures, and comics and graphic novels.

James Mullooly (Anthropology, Chair, Institute of Public Anthropology Director) James Mullooly is an Applied Cultural Anthropologist with a great deal of interest in improving the quality of life in Fresno by focusing on key issues such as education, commerce and industry. He is a professor of anthropology and the Chair of the Department of Anthropology in the College of Social Sciences. He has lived in Jamaica, Mali and Egypt and has conducted fieldwork in Egypt and the United States (in inner cities in New York and the Midwest). He works in the fields of Ethnography, Applied Anthropology and Ethnomethodology.James holds a BA in Anthropology and History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, two Master's degrees, one in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (American University in Cairo) and another in Anthropology and Education (Columbia University) and a PhD in Anthropology and Education (Columbia University). His dissertation, "Work, play and consequences: What Counts in a Successful Middle School" (2003) is an ethnography of an alternative middle school for Hispanic immigrants of low socio-economic status that has fostered great academic success among its graduates.

Samina Najmi (Multi-Ethnic Literature) Dr. Samina Najmi has taught courses in multiethnic American literature, cultural studies, and gender studies at Babson College in Wellesley. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, and her graduate degrees from Tufts University.Aside from various essays, her publications include Form and Transformation in Asian American Literature (U of Washington P, 2005), coedited with Zhou Xiaojing; White Women in Racialized Spaces (SUNY 2002), coedited with Rajini Srikanth, and the reissue of Onoto Watanna's 1903 novel The Heart of Hyacinth (U of Washington P, 2000). Her teaching and research focus on both the disciplinary and the interdisciplinary, with special interest in the intersections of multiethnic American literature and postcolonial/world literature.

Manuchehr Shahrokhi (Craig School of Business) Manuchehr Shahrokhi is a Craig Fellow Professor of Global Business - Finance at Craig School of Business at California State University-Fresno since 1986. He has also served as Director of Graduate Business Programs 1989-1992. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard (1992-1999), Moscow MBA program offered by Cal State Hayward. He has also taught finance courses, as distinguished lecturer, for Austrian University of Technology and University for Business and Technology in Kosova.He is the founding editor of the Global Finance Journal, a refereed publication by Elsevier Publishing since 1989 with worldwide distribution. He has founded and serves as Executive Director of Global Finance Association - Conference, a network of over 600 scholars and practitioners worldwide. He has published over 75 articles in top journals and authored books in International Business and Finance.He has earned his BA from Tehran Business School, MBA from George Washington University and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University.

Julia Shatz (History) Dr. Julia Shatz specializes in the Modern Middle East, British Empire/history of colonialism, transnational history, history of childhood/child welfare, and global humanitarianism.  She teaches a wide range of topical courses on the Modern Middle East and Word History.  Dr. Shatz received her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and her B.A. at Vassar College.  Selected publications include “A Politics of Care: Local Nurses in Mandate Palestine,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 50 (2018): 1-21 and “Governing Jerusalem’s Children, Revealing Invisible Inhabitants: The American Colony Aid Association, 1920s-1950s,” in Ordinary Jerusalem 1840-1940, ed. Angelos Dalachanis and Vincent Lemire, Leiden: Brill, 2018.  Her current research projects examine child welfare and humanitarian governance in interwar Palestine, and the role of American capital and corporate philanthropy in social welfare initiatives in Palestine and the Middle East in the 1920s-1940s.

Negin Tahvildary (Linguistics, Philosophy) Dr. Negin Tahvildary has taught courses in the Linguistics and Philosophy Departments at California State University, Fresno. Areas of instruction include Persian language and culture, peace and conflict studies, and ethics.  Tahvildary has a JD and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Iran, and speaks Farsi and French. Prior to her appointments with US campuses, she worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan.  The interdisciplinary nature of the field of Persian studies and Middle East studies demands familiarity with a vast range of disciplinary perspectives including sociology, critical theory, literature, religious studies, political science, history, and cultural studies.  Tahvildary’s previous work in comparative law and religion and her involvement with the United Nations, have enabled her to synthesize broad perspectives and interconnections in an educational setting.

Amine Tais (Philosophy) Amine Tais is an assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy. He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Georgetown University in Washington DC, a master's degree in comparative religion from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern studies from the same institution. Dr. Tais’ primary teaching area is comparative religion (Western traditions) with a particular focus on Islam and his research interests include Islamic intellectual history, reform movements, secularism and religion, scripture and interpretation, as well as religious extremism and violence.

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