University of Minnesota
American Studies

American Studies' Home Page

Fall 2015

Scott Hall 316

Office Hours: Tuesday 10am to 3pm or by appointment

Mr Waleed F Mahdi

Department Affiliations


Waleed F. Mahdi is a PhD candidate in American studies at the University of Minnesota with a graduate minor in development studies and social change at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. His doctoral research explores U.S. and Arabic cultural sites of production to investigate issues relevant to race/ethnicity, transnational/postcolonial studies, and migration/diaspora scholarship. His dissertation offers a case study of Hollywood and Egyptian cinemas to interrogate a multi-layered process of Arab American otherness along U.S.-Arab socio-cultural and geopolitical divide. He is currently co-authoring a book project that theorizes “transcultural identity” as a form of citizen engagement at the center of transformation politics in the Arab world..


  • Transnational American studies
  • Arab and Muslim American Studies
  • U.S.-Middle East Cultural Politics
  • Yemeni Sociocultural Identity

Educational Background

  • M.A.: Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2008.
  • B.A.: English Lanagage and Literature, Taiz University, Taiz City, Yemen, 2003.


  • Mahdi, Waleed F. “Marked Off: Hollywood’s Untold Story of Arabs/Muslims and Camels.” In Muslims and American Popular Culture, edited by Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omidvar, 196-223. Praeger, February 2014.
  • Mahdi, Waleed F. “Gran Torino,” “Mahjar,” and “Siege, The.” In Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia, edited by Carlos E. Cortés, 983-84, 1397-99, and 1940-41. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2013.
  • Mahdi, Waleed F. “Liberal or Imperial: U.S. Discursive Formations of the Muslim Image.” In Transformation of the Muslim World in the 21st Century, Scientific Studies Society ILEM proceedings, 495-504. Istanbul: ILEM, 2013.
  • Mahdi, Waleed F. “Egypt’s Path from Revolution to Revolt.” StarTribune, July 19, 2013.
  • Mahdi, Waleed. “Re-locating the U.S. Global Identity in the Post-9/11 World.” Global-e: A Global Studies Journal 4, no. 3 (June 2010).

Research Activities

  • “Reclaiming Agency: Toward an Arab American Film Industry?” American Studies Association, Los Angeles, California,: November 6, 2014 - November 9, 2014
  • “Transgressing a Revolution: Yemen between 9/11 Echoes & Arab Spring Unrest,” British Society for Middle East Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, : June 16, 2014 - June 18, 2014
  • “Arab Americans or Arabs-in-America? Manufacturing Identity in Hollywood’s Studios,” Arab American Studies Association conference, Dearborn, Michigan: April 2014
  • “Going Transnational: Re-Mapping the Arab American Experience,” Center for American Studies and Research conference, American University of Beirut, Lebanon: January 7, 2014
  • “Re-Narrating Otherness: Arab Americans and Articulations of Difference,” Middle East Studies Association conference, New Orleans, Louisiana: October 2013
  • Liberal or Imperial: U.S. Discursive Formations of the Muslim Image: Scientific Studies Society ILEM, ?stanbul 29 May?s Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey,, August 2013

Outreach Activities

  • A contributor to Great Decisions Program, Minnesota International Center: 2013 - 2015
  • A founder & president of the Yemeni American Society (YAS), Minnesota: 2011 - 2014


  • Francis Maria Graduate Fellowship in Arab American Studies, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota, 2013
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, 2012 - 2013
  • ICGC-MacArthur Scholar Fellowship, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, University of Minnesota, , 2008 - 2009
  • Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, , 2006 - 2008

Courses Taught

  • Arab Spring-American Echoes, Instructor of Records
  • Making Sense of 9/11, Instructor of Records
  • The United States since September 11, Instructor of Records
  • Migrants, Refugees, Citizens, Exiles: US on an Immigrant Planet, Teaching Assistant
  • American Pop culture & Politics: 1900-1940, Teaching Assistant
  • American Pop Culture & Politics: 1940-present, Teaching Assistant
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