Bio


Mejgan Massoumi received her Ph.D. in June of 2021 from the History Department at Stanford University. Her work and research explores Afghan engagement with a global communication technology, the radio, during a period of intense political reform and social transformations (1960-1979). Drawing on archives in Farsi, Pashto, Tajik, Urdu, and English, and a collection of oral histories from former Radio Afghanistan employees and other producers of music and art, her work offers a fresh perspective on Afghan history by considering the mobile and fluid international networks made possible through the producers and consumers of the radio and music in the twentieth century and the centrality of Afghan people to that story.

Having earned previous degrees in Architecture (B.A.) and City Planning (M.C.P) from the University of California at Berkeley, the foundation of her scholarship is built upon a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Her study of the past is informed through the study of sounds broadcast in and beyond the built environment.

As a scholar and educator, and refugee and immigrant, Mejgan is committed to advancing a culture of equity and inclusion within academia through her activism and advocacy for diversity as well as her teaching and scholarship focused on the study of history through the experiences of marginalized peoples, places, and cultures.

Mejgan's previous research explored how the dynamics of different forms of religious fundamentalisms are produced, represented and practiced in the city. The culmination of this research can be found in her co-edited book, The Fundamentalist City? Religiosity and the Remaking of Urban Space (Routledge, 2010). Another project that explored the multiple meanings of diversity, inclusion, and exclusion in fast-changing urban contexts resulted in the co-edited volume Urban Diversity: Space, Culture, and Inclusive Pluralism in Cities Worldwide (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). Her master's research focused on race and inter-ethnic conflicts in post-9/11 Afghanistan, highlighting how humanitarian aid from the West contributed to deepening social and ethnic divides. She has also contributed articles to the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, and the Journal of International Affairs at Columbia University.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, Mejgan is teaching "Why College?", "Design that Understands Us", and "Environmental Sustainability: Global Predicaments and Possible Solutions."

Academic Appointments


  • Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Thinking Matters

Administrative Appointments


  • COLLEGE Teaching Fellow in Civic, Liberal, and Global Education, Stanford Introductory Studies (2021 - Present)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Stanford University, History (2021)
  • MCP, University of California, Berkeley, City & Regional Planning (2005)
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, Architecture (2003)

2021-22 Courses