Lucia Volk

Lucia Volk

Professor, International Relations

Contact Information

Office: HUM 576



Lucia Volk obtained her PhD in Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from Harvard University. She also holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a BA in International Relations from Stanford. Her PhD dissertation focused on the processes of social and cultural reconstruction after Lebanon's 16-year-long civil war from the point of view of Lebanese returnee migrants.

Subsequent research in Lebanon focused on public sites of memory and their role in legitimizing a particular national narrative that places Muslim and Christian Lebanese sacrifice at the core of commemorative exercises. Her book Memorials and Martyrs in Modern Lebanon appeared in 2010 with Indiana University Press. She has further published on the topic of politics of memory in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Arab Studies Journal, the Bulletin d'Archéologie et d'Architecture Libanaises (BAAL) and Middle Eastern Studies. Moreover, she is the editor and author of The Middle East in the World: An Introduction (Routledge 2015). Locally, Prof. Volk conducted research among Yemeni Muslims who live in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood focusing on issues of health and well-being in this marginal community within the larger bay area Arab community. Some of her research findings are published in the Medical Anthropology Quarterly (MAQ). Together with former executive director of the San Francisco Arab Cultural and Community Center, Sally al-Daher, she co-authored a report based on data from the Center's Health Survey, titled Living Healthier Lives in the Diaspora.  Prof. Volk's current research focuses on Arab migrants and refugees in Germany and some of her work will be published in the forthcoming co-edited book Un-Settling Middle Eastern Refugees: Regimes of Exclusion and Inclusion in the Middle East, Europe, and North America (Berghahn Books 2021).

Prof. Volk was co-PI of a Department of Education-funded grant to expand the Middle East and Islamic Studies program on campus, and obtained a grant from the Institute for Turkish Studies, Washington, DC, to initiate Turkish Studies at SFSU. She has presented her research at many national and international conferences, workshops, and colloquia.

In 2016, the senate honors committee selected Prof. Volk to receive San Francisco State Unversity's Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching!  And in 2017, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) recognized Prof. Volk's craft in teaching Middle East Studies with their Undergraduate Education Award.