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The Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies director launched a lecture series and taught global courses. She is also Roshan Institute associate professor in Persian studies.

Text on a blue background "Women Making History featuring Claudia Yaghoobi" with a photo of Yaghoobi.

In honor of Women’s History Month, The Well introduces readers to women working at Carolina who are leaving their Heel print on the University and beyond. Read previous stories in the Women Making History series.

Why her work matters

Claudia Yaghoobi became director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies in July 2022. This academic year, Yaghoobi launched the first CMEIS Annual Lecture Series, in which the center invites proposals from faculty across campus to bring visitors, scholars, artists, experts and others to speak at Carolina.

Since fall 2020, Yaghoobi has created connections for students with classrooms in the Middle East through Collaborative Online International Learning. She received two grants from CMEIS and two curriculum development awards from the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs to implement COIL in her courses. Through the COIL course, Carolina students and their peers at Shiraz University gained perspectives about the tolls of war in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, through literature, film and photography.

What people say about her

Dr. Yaghoobi is a rising star in the field of Middle East cultural studies, and her fresh ideas and enthusiasm are reinvigorating the center’s activities.

— Charles Kurzman, director of the North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies

I and my peers look up to Dr. Yaghoobi for representational importance in higher education leadership.

— Maryam Khan, junior majoring in political science and religion and minoring in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies

Who she is

Yaghoobi is a Roshan Institute Associate Professor in Persian Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Asian and Middle Eastern studies department. She is an adjunct associate professor in women’s and gender studies and chair and coordinator of the UNC Persian Program and Persian Advisory Committee. She is a member of Faculty Council and of the advisory board of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

An Iranian Armenian American, Yaghoobi researches the literature of the Middle East, specifically Persian and Armenian literature, and focuses on marginalized groups. Her upcoming book, “Transnational Culture in the Iranian Armenian Diaspora,” examines the various creative ways that Iranian Armenian authors and artists, as members of religious and cultural minority populations of Iran and later in the diaspora in the U.S., craft and negotiate a unique notion of self, navigating the wish to integrate with mainstream society while maintaining ties with their homeland.

Last fall, Yaghoobi cut her hair in solidarity with Iranian women protesting as part of a feminist social revolution.

Adapted from a story by Rawan Abbasi, UNC Global. Read the entire story.

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