Waleed F. Mahdi
Associate Professor, US-Arab Cultural Politics
International and Area Studies
Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
Film and Media Studies
Farzaneh Hall, Room 326
PhD in American Studies, University of Minnesota, 2015
MA in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of New Mexico, 2008
BA in English Literature, Taiz University (Yemen), 2003
Waleed F. Mahdi is an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma. He conducts research at the intersection of area studies and ethnic studies as he pursues transnational inquiries into cultural representation and identity politics in US, Arab, and Arab American contexts. The guiding premise of his various research projects is to examine contemporary Arab and Arab American narratives and explore the limitations of US and Arab state nationalist discourses. Waleed is a recipient of several national and international awards. His peer-reviewed work appears in top-tiered journals, including American Quarterly, Journal of American Ethnic History, and Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.
Waleed’s current book project, “From Drones to Travel Bans: US Violence and Yemeni Visual Narratives of Resistance,” offers a multi-faceted analysis of the US violations of Yemeni lives and lands in the name of security and the aesthetics of Yemeni and Yemeni American visual artists’ responses. His first book, Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation (Syracuse University Press, 2020), examines how Arab American belonging is constructed, defined, and redefined across Hollywood, Egyptian, and Arab American cinemas. He also guest-edited two special issues and completed a multi-institutional research collaboration with Columbia University, the University of Jordan, and the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies about the 2011 Arab revolutionary public spheres.
Waleed has been elected president of the Arab American Studies Association (AASA) for a two-year term starting in November 2023. The AASA is a premier association of scholars and other persons interested in the study of Arab American history, ethnicity, culture, literature, art, music, politics, religion, sociology, and other aspects of the Arab American experience.
IAS 5940 Global Islamophobia
IAS 3783 US-Arab Cultural Encounters
MLLL 3413 Arabic Literature and Culture
MLLL 3443 Islamic Culture in the United States
Arab America Foundation Award, “40 Under 40” List of Most Accomplished Arab Americans for their contributions to professions and communities, 2021
Faculty Investment Program Grant, University of Oklahoma, 2020-21
Multi-institutional Research Collaboration Grant, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), 2016-19
Humanities Forum Grant, Humanities Forum, University of Oklahoma, 2017-18
Exemplary Diversity Scholar Award, National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), University of Michigan, 2015
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Summer Institute, 2015
Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2012-13
ICGC-MacArthur Scholarship, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, University of Minnesota, 2008-09
Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship, University of New Mexico, 2007-08
Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation, Syracuse University Press (2020)
MENA Migrants and Diasporas in Twenty-First-Century Media, edited by Waleed F. Mahdi for Mashriq and Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies, vol 9, no. 1, 2022, pp. 1-193.
The Aesthetics of Dissent: Culture and Politics of Transformation in the Arab World, co-edited by Eid Mohamed, Waleed F. Mahdi, and Hamid Dabashi for the International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 23, issue 2, March 2020, pp. 141-281.
Peer-reviewed articles and chapters
“Contemporary Modes of Yemeni American Agency” in Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 43, no. 1, (forthcoming in Fall,2023)
“Sovereignty for Security: The Paradox of Urgency and Intervention in Yemen,” in The Struggle to Reshape the Middle East in the 21st Century, editor Samer S. Shehata. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2023, pp. 174-192.
“Echoes of a Scream: US Drones and Articulations of the Houthi Sarkha Slogan in Yemen,” in Cultural Production and Social Movements After the Arab Spring: Nationalism, Politics and Transnational Identity, editors Eid Mohamed and Ayman El Desouky. London: I. B. Tauris, pp. 205-221, 2021.
"Transmilitainment: Morocco’s Role in Hollywood’s War on Terror Films" in American Quarterly, vol. 73, no. 4, 2021, 767-791.
“Representation without Recognition: A Survey of Arab American Images in Egyptian Cinema” in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (Cinema Journal formerly), vol. 59, no. 1, 2019, 89-111.
“Post-Oriental Otherness: Hollywood’s Moral Geography of Arab Americans,” in Mashriq and Mahjar: Journal of Middle East Migration Studies, 3, no. 2, 35-61, 2016.
“Youth and Revolution: A Call to Reform Higher Education in Yemen,” (co-edited chapter with Abulghani Al-Hattami) in Education and the Arab Spring: Resistance, Reform, and Democracy, editors Eid Mohamed, Hannah Gerber, and Slimane Aboulkacem. Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 83-94, 2016.
“Liberal or Imperial: U.S. Discursive Formations of the Muslim Image,” in Transformation of the Muslim World in the 21st Century, editor Muhammed Huseyin Mercan, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 49-62, 2016.
“Marked off: Hollywood’s Untold Story of Arabs/Muslims and Camels,” in Muslims and American Popular Culture, editors Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omidvar. Praeger, 196-223, 2014.
Selected Invited Talks
“From Aliens to Patriots: Representations of Arab and Muslim Americans in Hollywood,” Keynote Address, the KFLC: The Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference, University of Kentucky, 2022
“Publishing Experience from Dissertation to Book,” University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2020
“From Drones to DNA Tests: The Ethics of Using Technology against Yemenis and the Aesthetics of Resistance,” University of Michigan-Dearborn, 2019
“Yemeni Lives at the Intersection of War and Discrimination,” University of Illinois-Chicago, 2019
"The Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen," University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2018
"Images of Arabs and Muslims in Hollywood," University of North Carolina-Charlotte, 2018
“Images of Arab Americans in Egyptian Films,” Cairo University and American University in Cairo, 2018
“Yemen: Then and Now,” University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 2017
"Hollywood's Cartographies of Arabness," Graduate Research Seminar Series, Qatar
"Cultural Prejudices as Threats to Democracy" Forum on Democracy, OU
"A Reading of Present and Future Yemen," Al-Hewar Center, Virginia, 2016
"The Politics of Translation," Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC, 2016
Valentino's Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs
Arab American Voters Could Play Important Role in Key Swing States
Conference on Aid to Yemen Highlights Support for Education
Yemen’s War Reaches into Public-University Classrooms
Arab Identities in Film History
Analysis: Yemen's King of Snakes is Dead, But More Will Rise in His Place
Yemen: Chaos, War and Higher Education
Fear, Faith and Fair Portrayals of Muslims
الوضع الراهن في الولايات المتحدة والشرق الأوسط (interview in Arabic for Assabah Tunisian newspaper about US-Middle East contemporary politics)
صورة العربي في هوليوود بين الإرهاب والتهريج(interview in Arabic for a Radio Sawa report about Arabs in Hollywood by Sari Al Khalili)