Participating Faculty

Vincent Biondo—Religious Studies

Vincent Biondo is Associate Professor of Western Religions in the Department of Philosophy. As a Historian of Religions specializing in Islam, he is committed to better understanding the relationships between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  While pursuing his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Vince served as a coordinator for a three year Ford Foundation project titled "Religious Pluralism in Southern California." He also earned a grant to pursue comparative research in the riot towns of Northern England. The architecture and politics chapters of his dissertation "Islam and Public Space in the U.S. and Britain" have been accepted for publication.  He is currently pursuing a book project on Religion and Economics and has recently agreed to co-edit a three volume reference work titled Religion in the Practice of Daily Life.

Randa Jarrar

Randa Jarrar is the author of the critically acclaimed novel A Map of Home, which was published in half a dozen languages & won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes and Noble Review. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Five Chapters, Guernica, The Oxford American, The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader,, and The Progressive. She has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Hedgebrook, Caravansarai, and Eastern Frontier, and was chosen to take part in Beirut39, which celebrates the 39 most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40.

Sasan Fayazmanesh—Professor Emeritus of Economics

Dr. Fayazmanesh is an expert on Iran and US foreign policy toward Iran. He has developed and taught courses on the Middle East. His fields of study are political economy, economic development, monetary history and theory, money and banking, history, methodology and philosophy of economics, and political economy of the Middle East. His writings have appeared in such places as the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Encyclopedia of Political Economy, the Review of Radical Political Economics, History of Economic Ideas, UCLA Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, South Asia Bulletin, CounterPunch and Z-Magazine. Dr. Fayazmanesh has been interviewed on numerous national and international radio and television programs. He has edited, with Professor Marc Tool, a two volume book of essays entitled Institutionalist Method and Value and Institutionalist Theory and Applications, published by Edward Elgar in 1998. Dr. Fayazmanesh is the author of Money and Exchange: Folktales and Reality, published in 2006 by Routledge. He is also the author of The United States and Iran: Sanctions, Wars and the Policy of Dual Containment, published in 2008 by Routledge. He is currently working on another book entitled The Obama Administration and Iran: The End of “Tough Diplomacy.”

James Mullooly —Department of Anthropology

Director of the Institute of Public Anthropology

James Mullooly is an Applied Cultural Anthropologist with a great deal of interest in improving the quality of life in Fresno by focusing of key issues such as education, commerce and industry. He is currently an assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Social Sciences. He has lived in Jamaica, Mali and Egypt and has conducted fieldwork in Egypt and the United States (in inner cities in New York and the Midwest). He works in the fields of Ethnography, Applied Anthropology and Ethnomethodology.

James holds a BA in Anthropology and History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, two Master’s degrees, one in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (American University in Cairo) and another in Anthropology and Education (Columbia University) and a PhD in Anthropology and Education (Columbia University). His dissertation, “Work, play and consequences: What Counts in a Successful Middle School” (2003) is an ethnography of an alternative middle school for Hispanic immigrants of low socio-economic status that has fostered great academic success amongst its graduates.

Mary Husain—Mass Communication, Speech Communication and Women's Studies

Mary Husain has taught courses in mass communication, speech communication, and women’s studies at California State University, Fresno. Areas of instruction include cultural studies, gender studies, and media persuasion. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Communication at California State University, Fresno, and is completing her doctorate at California State University, Fresno/University of California Davis, Joint Doctoral Program. Her research focuses on the impacts of media representation of the Middle East and Islam, in entertainment and news genres. Recent publications include an article coauthored with Kevin Ayotte entitled, “Securing Afghan Women: Neocolonialism, Epistemic Violence, and the Rhetoric of the Veil, published by National Women’s Studies Association Journal in 2005.

Manuchehr Shahrokhi—Craig School of Business

Manuchehr Shahrokhi is a Craig Fellow Professor of Global Business - Finance at Craig School of Business at California State University-Fresno since 1986. He has also served as Director of Graduate Business Programs 1989-1992. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard (1992-1999), Moscow MBA program offered by Cal State Hayward. He has also taught finance courses, as distinguished lecturer, for Austrian University of Technology and University for Business and Technology in Kosova. He is the founding editor of the Global Finance Journal, a refereed publication by Elsevier Publishing since 1989 with worldwide distribution. He has founded and serves as Executive Director of Global Finance Association - Conference, a network of over 600 scholars and practitioners worldwide.  He has published over 75 articles in top journals and authored books in International Business and Finance. He has earned his BA from Tehran Business School, MBA from George Washington University and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University.

Partow Hooshmandrad—Music and Iranian Studies

Partow Hooshmandrad holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley.  She has done extensive research on the cultural heritage of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq (Yarsan) of Guran since 2000.  As a scholar and a musician she specializes in the devotional practices of the Ahl-i Haqq including the musical repertoire, the texts, and the rituals, as well as Iranian classical music.  She has won several awards for her research endeavors including generous grants from the National Geographic Conservation Trust Fund, Alfred Hertz Memorial Scholarships, the Kurdish National Congress, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Al-Falah Program for Islamic Studies (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley).  She has written and presented papers on various aspects of Ahl-i Haqq life, Iranian classical music, and other musical practices of Iran.  Hooshmandrad has also appeared on KPFA radio Berkeley and performed for the Marin League of the San Francisco Symphony.  As the Roshan Endowed Faculty in Persian Language & Culture, she currently teaches at California State University, Fresno, Department of Music, and is actively involved in the development of the Persian Language & Culture Studies and Middle East Studies Program.  Prior to joining the academic community at CSU Fresno, Partow taught at the University of Kurdistan, Hawler, in the Federal Region of Kurdistan, Iraq.

Her most recent and upcoming publications include (2013) Ritual Music of Guran.  Regional Music of Iran 41.  Tehran:  Mahoor Institute of Culture & Art (Two-CD album of selected solo and group chants of Guran as performed by the kalam-khwans of the region with detailed English and Persian booklets on the devotional practices and the performed musical modes);  (2014) “Life as Ritual:  Devotional Practices of the Kurdish Ahl-i Ḥaqq of Guran.”  Religious Minorities in Kurdistan: Beyond the Mainstream.  Ed. Khanna Omarkhali.  Studies in Oriental Religions 68.  Wiesbaden:  Otto Harrassowitz Verlag; (2015) “Contemplating the Tanbur of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq of Guran:  A Lived Organology.”  Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 41; (In Press)"Kurdish Music: Ahl-i Haqq Musical Tradition.”  Encyclopedia Iranica.  Ed. Yarshater, Ehsan. New York: Bibliotheca Iranica.  Partow is currently working on an educational documentary film on the rituals of the Ahl-i Haqq with English narration and Persian subtitles, as well as a book on the musical repertoire of the Ahl-i haqq, to be published by the Mahoor Institute of Culture & Art.

Steve Adisasmito-Smith—World Literature

Steve Adisasmito-Smith teaches World Literature, including Southwest Asian literature in English. He received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research involves American, British, and South Asian literature, and issues in translation and cross-cultural interpretation. His work was awarded the 1998 Horst Frenz Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association. He has written on the connections among British Orientalists, American Transcendentalists, and Indian Nationalists, and the translation of Sanskrit scriptures into English.

Samina Najmi—Multi-ethnic Literature

Dr. Samina Najmi has taught courses in multiethnic American literature, cultural studies, and gender studies at Babson College in Wellesley. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, and her graduate degrees from Tufts University. Aside from various essays, her publications include Form and Transformation in Asian American Literature (U of Washington P, 2005), coedited with Zhou Xiaojing; White Women in Racialized Spaces (SUNY 2002), coedited with Rajini Srikanth, and the reissue of Onoto Watanna’s 1903 novel The Heart of Hyacinth (U of Washington P, 2000). Her teaching and research focus on both the disciplinary and the interdisciplinary, with special interest in the intersections of multiethnic American literature and postcolonial/world literature.

Chris Golston-Linguistics

Chris Golston is professor of Linguistics. As a linguist specializing in the phonology of human languages, he stays abreast of how the consonants, vowels, and syllables of the 6000 languages of the world pattern. His research includes a lot of joint work with others, including the syntax of Greek, Hittite, and Latin (with Brian Agbayani, also of Fresno State); the poetic meter of Old, Modern, and Middle English, Classical Arabic, and Greek (with Tomas Riad, Stockholm University); the phonetics of White Hmong (with Sean Fulop, Fresno State); and laryngeal and laryngealized sounds in the languages of the world (with Wolfgang Kehrein, University of Amsterdam). His favorite language, though, is yours.


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