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Ida Yalzadeh

Assistant Professor

Room 336 - Maginnes Hall

Ph.D., American Studies, Brown University, 2020

M.A., American Studies, Brown University, 2015

B.A., University of Chicago, 2014

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Additional Interests

  • US and the World
  • 20th Century US
  • Race and Migration
  • Ethnic Studies & Asian American Studies
  • Critical SWANA Studies

Research Statement

Ida Yalzadeh is a transnational historian of racial formation and U.S. empire. Her research focuses on how race is constructed in contradictory ways—at the intersection of foreign and domestic policy, and from the top-down and the bottom-up—particularly for foreign nationals and other noncitizen subjects. She is currently at work on a manuscript that traces the history of Iranian racial formation in the United States from 1953 to 2001. Trained in interdisciplinary methodologies, she incorporates cultural and visual analysis into her archival work, and is also deeply invested in the intellectual project and liberatory power of Ethnic Studies work.


Originally from Los Angeles, California, Ida has now called the East Coast her home for many years. Prior to arriving at Lehigh in the fall of 2023, she was a Global American Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard from 2021-2023, and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Northwestern’s Asian American Studies Program from 2020-2021.

Select Recent Publications

“Keywords as Frameworks for Liberatory Pedagogy and Praxis: Meeting SWANA and Asian American Studies,” Journal of Asian American Studies 26:2 (2023), 175-184.

“Persian/American Exceptionalism in the Multicultural Era: Post-9/11 Strategies of Belonging in the Iranian Diaspora Through Cultural Production,” Amerasia 47:3 (2021), 405-422.

“‘Support the 41’: Iranian Student Activism in Northern California, 1970-3,” in American-Iranian Dialogues: From Constitution to White Revolution, c. 1890s-1960s. 167-182. Edited by Matthew Shannon. New York: Bloomsbury, 2021.

Select Recent Presentations

2023, “Refusal to Name: Iranian Student Resistance and the Politics of Identification,” Presenter & Co-organizer, Organization of American Historians Conference. Los Angeles, CA.

2023, “Iranians and the ‘Sense of Brown’: Articulating Frameworks of Solidarity in the Global South,” Presenter, The Iranian Diaspora in Global Perspective Conference, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

2022, “‘We Managed Alright’: Legacies of Japanese American Incarceration, the Iran Hostage Crisis, and the Case of S.I. Hayakawa,” Presenter & Co-organizer, American Studies Association Conference. New Orleans, LA.

2022, “The HBCU as a Site of Iranian Political Consciousness,” Presenter, Organization of American Historians Conference. Boston, MA.

2022, “Thinking Against Geography: The Possibilities and Limits of Arab & Muslim American Studies,” Roundtable Presenter, Arab American Studies Association Conference. San Diego, CA.


Ida Yalzadeh teaches courses on US and the World, 20th Century US History, Histories of Migration and Race-Making, and Asian American History.

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