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MENA Research

Faculty Publications

Manata Hashemi in Ethnography, "Sacrificial Heroes: Masculinity, Class, and Wastepicking in Iran"

Manata Hashemi in The Conversation, "How Iran's Millennials are Grappling with Crippling US Sanctions"

Alexander Jabbari in International Journal of Islam in Asia, "Sinicizing Islam: Translating the Gulistan of Saʿdi in Modern China"

Joshua Landis in Foreign Affairs, "The Pointless Cruelty of Trump’s New Syria Sanctions"

Joshua Landis in Foreign Affairs (co-authored), "How to Win the Influence Contest in the Middle East"

Natalie Letsa in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, "The Mechanisms of Direct and Indirect Rule: Colonialism and Economic Development in Africa"

Waleed Mahdi in the Journal of American Ethnic History, "Contemporary Modes of Yemeni American Agency Between Urgency and Emergence"

Waleed Mahdi, guest editor: special issue of Mashriq and Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies, "MENA Migrants and Diasporas in Twenty-First-Century Media

Waleed Mahdi in American Quarterly, "Transmilitainment: Morocco’s Role in Hollywood’s War on Terror Films"

Waleed Mahdi, "Echoes of a Scream: US Drones and Articulations of the Houthi Sarkha Slogan in Yemen," in Eid Mohamed and Ayman A. El-Desouky, eds., Cultural Production and Social Movements after the Arab Spring Nationalism, Politics, and Transnational Identity (I.B. Tauris, 2021)

Afshin Marashi edited a special issue of Iranian Studies, "Parsis and Iranians in the Modern Period" (January 2023)

Afshin Marashi in Iranian Studies,  “Rich Fields in Persia”: Parsi Capital and the Origins of Economic Development in Pahlavi Iran, 1925–1941"

Aqil Shah in Foreign Affairs, "Will Pakistan’s Military Lose Its Grip on Power?"

Aqil Shah, “Pakistan: Persistent Praetorianism,” in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Military Politics (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Samer Shehata in the Guardian, "The Real Reason Trump is Terrified of Losing the Presidency: Fear of Prosecution" and in Al Jazeera, "Trump is Inciting Domestic Terrorism"

Opportunities for Scholars

This $2,000 prize will be awarded to the best published article on any topic relating to Persian literature. The winner will also be invited to present a public lecture at the University of Oklahoma and to serve on the award selection committee for the following year.

To be eligible for consideration, articles or book chapters must have been published in English or Persian in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals or edited volumes between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Publications must be on Persian literature specifically and not other related fields.

Submissions are currently closed.

MENA in World Literature Today

World Literature Today is the University of Oklahoma's award-winning magazine of international literature and culture. Its mission is to serve the international, state, and university communities by achieving excellence as a literary publication, a sponsor of literary prizes, and a cultural center for students. Now in its tenth decade of continuous publication, WLT has been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as “one of the best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world. Below is a list of recent issues and articles dedicated to MENA-related topics.

January 2022 Issue
featuring works by Afghan, Egyptian, and Iranian writers

Palestinian Literature Special Issue
Summer 2021 

"Reading Multilingual Arab Literatures Globally in the Twenty-First Century"
Essay, Spring 2019 Issue

New Hebrew Writing Special Issue
May 2015  

Iranian Exile Literature Special Issue
March 2015

Library Resources

OU librarians Laurie Scrivener and Liorah Golomb have compiled a helpful library guide for MENA scholars. For questions or more information, please contact them at and

Explore the MENA Library Guide