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Afsane Rezaei

Afsane Resaei

Afsane Rezaei

Assistant Professor of English (Folklore), Utah State University


Dr. Rezaei is an assistant professor of English who has been at Utah State University since 2020. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2020, with a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies (Folklore). Her research addresses the intersections of folklife, gender, religion, and politics, particularly in the Middle East and its diaspora in the US. Her research interests include folklore and new media, vernacular religion, and feminist folklore/anthropology. Her current book project, Recasting Vernacular Islam, addresses the religious folklife of Iranian American women through the lens of shared performances, rituals, and multiple narrative genres. Her articles have appeared in New Directions in FolkloreEthnography, and Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, and she has work forthcoming in the Journal of Folklore Research. She currently serves as the reviews editor for Western Folklore and vice president for the Folklore Society of Utah.

Dr. Rezaei's research interests include folklore and gender, vernacular religion, folk belief and practice, digital folklore, humor, legends/rumors, and conspiracy narratives.


Selected Publications and Creative Projects

Rezaei, A. (2022) “The Halfie Predicament in the Ethnography of Religion,” Ethnography. 

Rezaei, A. (2022) “The Ritual Fusion: Individuality, Tradition, and Sensory Memory in Iranian Women’s Islamic Gatherings in Los Angeles.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 18 (2), 216-37. 

Rezaei, A. (2017). “'The Superman in a Turban': Political Jokes in the Iranian Social Media." New Directions in Folklore 14 (1/2), 89-132.