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Department of Ethnic Studies

Allia Griffin

Allia Griffin


Allia Ida Homayoun Griffin joined the Department of Ethnic Studies in 2015 after previously teaching in the Departments of English and Theatre & Dance. Griffin earned her B.A. in English at Santa Clara University, her M.A. in English with a concentration in African American Literature at CSU Chico, and her Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from UC San Diego. Her dissertation, The Radius of Loss, navigates the intersections of literature and performance emerging from the African and Middle Eastern diasporas through narratives of incarceration, memory, haunting, and loss. Her research and teaching interests include MENA/SWANA Diaspora Studies, African American Literature and Performance, Women of Color Feminism, and Carceral Studies.

Griffin’s current book project extends the work developed in The Radius of Loss, but focuses primarily on how contemporary cultural texts emerging from the Iranian American diaspora articulate and narrate a specific imagining of oneself that refutes the social, political, and legal definitions placed upon their bodies. Griffin’s essay, “Troubling the Home/Land in Showtime’s Homeland: The Ghost of 1979 and the Haunting Presence of Iran in the American Imaginary” was published in Lateral, the Cultural Studies Association Journal. Her essay, “On the Burden of Proof: Racialized Violence and the Limits of Public Mourning” appeared in contemptorary, an archive of queer and women of color artists.

For her excellence in teaching, Griffin has been named a Faculty Associate for Teaching Innovation & Faculty Development through the Office of the Provost. In this role, she facilitates workshops for current faculty on inclusive teaching practices. She also consults individually with faculty on creating community and navigating challenging moments in the classroom.

The Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Committee granted Griffin their inaugural Faculty Award in 2019. Together with her colleagues in the Ethnic Studies Department, they received the Francisco Jiménez Inclusive Excellence Award in 2019. She has also been twice named a Faculty Mentor for Distinguished First-Year Students and is the recipient of the Enhanced Teaching with Technology Grant as well as the Markkula Center Hackworth Grant for Faculty Research in Applied Ethics.

Griffin’s courses include Race & Mass Incarceration, African American Women Writers, Iranian American Women Writers, Literature by Women of Color, Introduction to Race & Ethnicity in the US, and Introduction to MENA Diaspora Studies.

Griffin was raised in the Bay Area and is the proud daughter of immigrants from Iran. When not reading, writing, or teaching, she stays busy on adventures with her three-year-old son.

In The News

July 9, 2019

Allia Griffin was mentioned in Before It's News for her participation in an Arts in Corrections conference held at SCU.