Mejgan Massoumi is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at Stanford University studying modern Afghanistan. Her dissertation 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.
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.
You can view her interview on the Stanford Global Studies Blog here: https://sgs.stanford.edu/research/student-research/meet-anubha-anushree-and-mejgan-massoumi-graduate-students-researching
In June of 2019, Mejgan was featured on BBC World Service Radio in a program commemorating 40 years marking the life and death of Ahmad Zahir (1946-1979). https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csz4kd?fbclid=IwAR2Atf3MscmkN3IbvWz8cWRcVmTpr5DEVIJCM_5Lz9DKP-COTnb7i2htKGw