Research

Current Research

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Students at the American Memorial School in Tabriz, Iran, 1923. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I am in the research and writing stage of a new monograph, tentatively entitled The Ties That Bind: U.S.-Iran Relations, 1905-1953. This book will provide the first comprehensive historical study of the formative years of Americans’ relationship with Iranians, from the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 through the 1953 U.S.-British coup in Iran. By using an unorthodox combination of analytic lenses and multi-national, multi-lingual archival research, my book combines the study of official diplomatic contacts with women and gender, cultural perceptions, non-state actors, and the broader international context to provide a thorough examination of American-Iranian engagement before 1953. By taking this approach, I demonstrate that the nations’ early interactions were extensive and that this period is crucial to understanding what occurred later. I argue that the first half of the 20th century was when Americans and Iranians formed enduring perceptions of one another and that Americans had an indelible impact on Iran’s national development. Meanwhile, Iranians influenced U.S. views of the Islamic world, and I explain how Iran became a site for the expansion of U.S. influence, ultimately – but not inevitably – as a testing ground for Cold War interventionism in 1953. This had significant repercussions for Iran, the Middle East, and the exercise of American power worldwide.

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First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s keynote address to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, September 1995. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I am also working on a second book-length project, entitled American Feminism and the World since 1945: An International History, under contract with Bloomsbury Press. This book is the first to provide a comprehensive narrative of U.S. feminists’ engagement with the wider world, with the bulk of the volume focused on the post-1945 period. By exploring the influence of global social justice, anti-colonial/freedom, and human rights movements on American feminist movements and U.S. feminists’ influence on and engagement with those other movements, this book interprets the history of U.S. movements for gender equality as transnational history, whereas most existing historical studies characterize U.S. feminist history as primarily a domestic story. Along the way, the book will demonstrate all of the tensions inherent within American feminisms and between U.S. feminists and women’s rights activists from other countries, especially around issues like race, class, capitalism, and imperialism. Particularly helpful for students and beginning researchers, this book provides a concise narrative of U.S. feminist history from a transnational perspective.

Works In Progress

The Ties That Bind: U.S.-Iran Relations, 1905-1953

“‘I Am Persia’s’: Americans and Iran’s Constitutional Revolution, 1905-1911” (academic journal article)

American Feminism and the World since 1945: An International History

Publications

Monographs

U.S. Foreign Policy and Muslim Women’s Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.   

Chapters in Edited Books

In press: “The Shuster Mission of 1911 and American Perceptions of Iran’s First Revolution,” in American-Iranian Dialogues: An International History from Constitution to White Revolution, ed. Matthew Shannon. Bloomsbury Press, New Approaches to International History Series.

“Foreign Relations and U.S. in the World – A Historiographical Survey,” in Routledge History of the 20th Century United States, eds. Jerald Podair and Darren Dochuk, 161-171. New York: Routledge, 2018. Routledge Handbook Series.

“Truman and the Middle East” in Blackwell Companion to Harry S. Truman, ed. Dan Margolies, 362-388. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2012.

“The Right to Bodily Integrity: Women’s Rights as Human Rights and the International Movement to End Female Genital Mutilation, 1970s-1990s,” in The Human Rights Revolution: An International History, eds. Akira Iriye, Petra Goedde, and William I. Hitchcock, 285-310. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Journal Articles

Bernath Lecture: “Approaching the Islamic World,” Diplomatic History 44, no. 3 (June 2020): 387-408. doi:10.1093/dh/dhaa007. Advanced online publication March 17, 2020.

“’I’m Glad I’m Not a Saudi Woman’: The First Gulf War and U.S. Encounters with Saudi Gender Relations,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 27, no. 3 (July 2014): 553-573. First published in October 2012 on CRIA’s digital site, iFirst.

  • Article reprinted as Chapter 5: “‘I’m Glad I’m Not a Saudi Woman’: The First Gulf War and U.S. Encounters with Saudi Gender Relations,” in Western Foreign Policy and the Middle East, eds. Christian Kaunert, Sarah Leonard, Lars Berger, and Gaynor Johnson, 59-79. London: Routledge, 2015.

“‘Maybe I Can Marry Them Both’: Conflicted American Views on the Algerian War,” Hindsight 1 (Spring 2007): 1-26.

Essays

“U.S.-Iran Relations” in Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History, ed. Jon Butler. New York: Oxford University Press, January 2019. (14,000 words). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.013.501 http://americanhistory.oxfordre.com/

Book and Article Reviews

Book review of Sarah Snyder, From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018) for the American Historical Review 124, no. 4 (October 2019): 1475-1476. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhz951.

Book review of Melvyn Leffler, Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, 1920-2015 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017) for Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review (April 2018): 11-14.

Article review of Jason Zeledon, “‘As Proud as Lucifer’: A Tunisian Diplomat in Thomas Jefferson’s America,” Diplomatic History 41:1 (January 2017): 155-183 for H-Diplo, July 14, 2017. https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/186277/h-diplo-article-review-709-“‘-proud-lucifer’-tunisian-diplomat and http://tiny.cc/AR709.

Book review of Daniel Sargent, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (New York: Oxford, 2015) for Human Rights Quarterly 38, no. 2 (May 2016): 537-539.

Book review of Amy Motlagh, Burying the Beloved: Marriage, Realism, and Reform in Modern Iran (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012) in “Book Notes,” Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) website (June 2012): http://www.asmeascholars.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1502&catid=9&Itemid=64

Book review of Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945 (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc., 2005) in Strategic Visions: Newsletter for the Center of the Study of Force and Diplomacy @ Temple University 8, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 7.

Book review of Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance Through 20th-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005) in Strategic Visions: Newsletter for the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy @ Temple University 6, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 9.

Op Eds

“War With Iran Is Not Inevitable – But the U.S. Must Change Course,” The Washington Post, “Made by History” section, January 8, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/08/war-with-iran-is-not-inevitable-but-us-must-change-course/

Persepolis and the Middle East Today,” 2012 Anchorage Reads Program/Alaska World Affairs Council, February 16, 2012, electronic publication on Town Square 49, KSKA radio/NPR. http://www.alaskapublic.org/2012/02/16/”persepolis”-and-the-middle-east-today/

Other Writing

Guest tweeter for @AfghanHistorians account, Twitter, week of January 13-18, 2020.

Guest tweeter for @HistoriansOfIran account, Twitter, week of November 11-16, 2019.

“The Rosenberg Espionage Trial and Engaged Learning Activities,” online poster, Making Learning Visible, CAFÉ, University of Alaska Anchorage, April 2014. http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/cafe/portfolios/makinglearningvisible/reenacting-the-rosenbergs-engaged-learning-and-thinking-historically.cfm

“The Status of Women in Diplomatic and International History, 2008-2012: Five-Year Follow-Up Report, Prepared by the Committee on Women in SHAFR” by Kelly J. Shannon (co-chair), Laura Belmonte (co-chair), Walter Hixson, Katie Sibley, Kathy Rasmussen, and Shannon Fitzpatrick, Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review (January 2014): 61-65.

“The Last Word: SHAFR Is From Mars…,” Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review 43, no. 1 (September 2012): 70-71.

“India and the World: Michele Louro Organizes International Workshop at Temple,” Strategic Visions: Newsletter for the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy @ Temple University 10, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 1-2.

“The Status of Women in Diplomatic and International History: A Report Prepared by the SHAFR Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women,” by Frank Costigliola, co-chair; Petra Goedde, co-chair Barbara Keys, Anna K. Nelson, Andrew Rotter, and Kelly Shannon, Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review (December 2008): http://www.shafr.org/passport/2008/december/Status of Women in SHAFR.pdf

“Inside the SHAFR Ad Hoc Committee on Women,” Strategic Visions: Newsletter for the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy @ Temple University 9, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 2-4.

On Suicide Bombing: Talal Asad’s Visit to Temple,” Strategic Visions: Newsletter for the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy @ Temple University 9, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 4-5.