Department Chair

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John Zarobell is a professor and chair of international studies at the University of San Francisco. Formerly, he held the positions of assistant curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and associate curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His first book, Empire of Landscape, focuses on visual culture in colonial Algeria and was published in 2010. Art and the Global Economy, published in 2017, analyzes major changes in the art world as a result of globalization and facilitates a...

  • PhD, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley
  • MA, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley
  • BA, Fine Art, Hampshire College

Program Director

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On sabbatical 2022-2023

Brian Dowd-Uribe is an associate professor in the international studies department at the University of San Francisco. His current research explores the social, agro-ecological, and economic dimensions of food, agriculture, and water policy, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. Specifically Professor Dowd-Uribe’s research examines whether and to what extent transgenic crops benefit small farmers, the role of decentralized water governance committees in...

  • UC Santa Cruz, PhD in Environmental Studies, 2011
  • UC Santa Cruz, MA in Environmental Studies, 2008

Academic Director

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Nora Fisher Onar is assistant professor of international studies at the University of San Francisco. Her research interests include the theory and practice of international relations, foreign policy analysis, comparative area studies (Turkey; Middle East; Europe), political ideologies, gender, and history/memory. She received her doctorate from Oxford and holds master’s and undergraduate degrees from Johns Hopkins (SAIS) and Georgetown universities, respectively. She speaks five languages, has...

  • Doctorate of Philosophy (DPhil), University of Oxford
  • Master in International Affairs (MIA), Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • BS, Foreign Service, Georgetown...

Full-Time Faculty

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Ilaria Giglioli is a scholar of migration, borders and racialization. A human geographer by training, she studies the creation, legitimization and contestation of borders, with a comparative focus in the Mediterranean and US southern border. In particular, she studies the social, political and economic processes that generate support for border fortification, as well as social movements that contest it. She also studies the relationship between border fortification, territorial inequality, and...

  • University of California Berkeley, PhD in Geography, 2018
  • University of Toronto, MA in Geography, 2010
  • University of Oxford, BA in Geography, 2006
Masonic 206

Roberto Gutiérrez Varea began his career in theater in his native Argentina. His research and creative work focuses on live performance as means of resistance and peacebuilding in the context of social conflict and state violence. Varea's stage work in the United States includes directing premieres of works by Migdalia Cruz, Ariel Dorfman, Cherríe Moraga, and José Rivera, among others. He is the founding artistic director of Soapstone Theatre Company, a collective of male ex-offenders and women...

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Adrienne Johnson is a human geographer who earned a PhD from Clark University. Her dissertation looked at the political ecology and critical resource geographies of Ecuador’s palm oil industry with a specific focus on Afro-Ecuadorian, smallholder, and company participation in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification scheme. She received an MA in geography and a BA in international development studies and political science from York University, Canada. Before joining the...

  • PhD, Geography, Clark University
  • MA, Geography, York University
  • BA (Hons), International Development Studies, York University
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Professor Kidd graduated with a PhD from the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, with a specialization in international development. Her research agenda is broadly concerned with the role of grassroots communicators and movements in social change, and she worked as a popular communicator, trainer, and advocate in community radio, documentary film and video, and social justice communications.

Her research has been circulated in academic and non-academic...

  • Simon Fraser University, PhD Communication, 1998
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Keally McBride is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and is interested in issues of power and social change. Her recent research has focused on the dynamics of information technology within contemporary capitalism, but she has published books on punishment and policing, movements of decolonization, and colonialism and the rule of law. She teaches a broad array of courses that investigate local public policy, European politics, political economy, peace and conflict, and...

  • UC Berkeley, PHD 2000
  • UC Berkeley, MA 1993
  • Mount Holyoke College, BA 1991
  • Social change and revolution
  • European Politics
  • Political Economy
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Jeffrey Paller specializes in African politics and sustainable urban development, and his research examines the practice of democracy and accountability in urban Africa. He has conducted fieldwork in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa. He recently published the book Democracy in Ghana: Everyday Politics in Urban Africa (Cambridge UP, 2019). His new project examines the contentious politics of African urbanization. He has received funding from the Social Science Research Council, National...

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BA, Northwestern University
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On sabbatical 2022-2023

Quỳnh N. Phạm is an Assistant Professor in the International Studies Department. She received her PhD in Political Science at the University of Minnesota, with a double focus on international relations and political theory. Her research and teaching interests include global inequalities, forms of violence, decolonization, and the politics of imagining Asia. Her scholarship attends to conditions of domination as well as subaltern endurance and dissent in the contexts of...

  • PhD, Political Science, University of Minnesota
  • MA, Political Science, University of Minnesota
  • BA, Political Science, Vassar College
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Sebastian Rubiano-Galvis is the 2022-2023 Gerardo Marín Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Studies Department at the University of San Francisco. His work studies environmental politics and the politics of knowledge and technology in Latin America. He examines how states and non-state actors produce knowledge about environmental problems and what they do with it, especially in contexts of injustice, violence, and inequality. His most recent work explores these questions through the case of...

  • UC Berkeley, PhD in Environmental Science, Policy & Management, 2022
  • Universidad de los Andes, MA in Geography, 2014
  • Universidad de los Andes, LLB (JD eq.), 2011
  • Global environmental politics
  • Science and technology studies
  • Political ecology
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Sadia Saeed is a historical sociologist with substantive interests in religion and politics, international human rights, and global inequalities. Her first book Politics of Desecularization: Law and the Minority Question in Pakistan (Cambridge University Press, 2017) examines the contentious relationship between Islam, nationalism, and rights of religious minorities in colonial India and Pakistan. It received the 2016-2017 Book Prize from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS). Her...

  • PhD, Sociology, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • MA, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  • BSc (Honors), Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan
SFH Downtown Campus, Room 608

Dr. Marco Tavanti is an international development scholar whose experience stretches over 25 years and whose work has taken him to more than 18 countries in Europe, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Dr. Tavanti’s teaching in sustainable development, leadership ethics, intercultural diversity, and NGO management is grounded in Jesuit values and his scholarship is an embodiment of the University’s mission to be of service to humankind. Professor Tavanti is the Nonprofit...

  • PhD, Sociology, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, 2001 (with distinction)
  • MA, Sociology, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, 1999
  • MA, Cross-Cultural Theology, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL...
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leadership Ethics
  • Intercultural Diversity
  • NGO Management
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Taymiya R. Zaman received her BA, Philosophy, Smith College and her PhD in History (2007) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She joined the University of San Francisco in 2007. Her area of research expertise is Mughal India and her current research interests include historical memory in South Asia, the interconnectedness of life writing and history, and the transition from subjects to citizens in the Islamicate world. She has designed the History Department's "Islamic World" emphasis...

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Ph.D. in History, 2007
  • Smith College, Northampton, MA, B.A. in Philosophy, 2001
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Stephen Zunes has been at USF since 1995, teaching courses on the politics of the Middle East and other regions, nonviolence, conflict resolution, U.S. foreign policy, and globalization. He served as the founder and first director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program.

A prominent specialist on U.S. Middle East policy, Professor Zunes has presented hundreds of public lectures and conference papers in both the United States and over a dozen foreign countries. He has traveled frequently to the...

  • PhD, Cornell University
  • MA, Temple University
  • BA, Oberlin College
  • Middle Eastern & North African Politics
  • Peace Studies
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Social Movements

Part-Time Faculty

Olivier Bercault specializes in armed conflicts, refugee issues and international criminal prosecutions. He served in the emergencies program at Human Rights Watch (HRW) and conducted research missions in numerous conflict areas: Eastern Chad, Darfur, Central African Republic, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka among others. During that period, he investigated and documented widespread and serious abuses committed by governmental forces, rebel and other armed groups. His research on war...

Filip Kovacevic is an adjunct professor in the Departments of Politics and International Studies. As a Montenegrin author, social justice activist, and geopolitical analyst, Prof. Kovacevic has lectured and taught across Europe, the Balkans, the former USSR, and the U.S., including two years at Smolny College, the first liberal arts college in Russia, operating under the auspices of St. Petersburg State University. He received fellowships from the Open Society Institute and the National...

  • PhD University of Missouri-Columbia
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Michael Levitin is an adjunct professor in journalism at the University of San Francisco. He got his start as a reporter covering the Bolivian Water War in 2000 for the La Paz English-language newspaper Bolivian Times. He later worked as a foreign correspondent in Berlin covering European politics, culture, and climate change.

His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, TIME, and Newsweek, among other publications. In 2019, Levitin published his debut novel...

  • MS, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
  • BA, History, University of California, Santa Cruz