My name is Keanu Heydari. I’m a historian of nineteenth and twentieth century Europe & French cultural, intellectual, and migration history. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I’m a doctoral candidate in History at the Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I’m an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., History, French language minor, 2017).

I research nineteenth- and twentieth-century French cultural and intellectual history and its global contexts. My earlier graduate work examined questions about the institutionalization and instrumentalization of laïcité in the late nineteenth century. My current research project focuses on the out-migration of Iranians (especially intellectuals and cultural leaders) from Tehran to Paris before and after the 1953 coup d’état.

Recent work and ephemera

For the 2020-21 academic year, I was a co-coordinator for the University of Michigan, Rackham Graduate School Migration & Displacement Interdisciplinary Workshop. Click here to learn more.

I am also interested in the broader currents of modern European intellectual history, especially the contributions of Michel Foucault (power-knowledge and critical discourse studies), Jacques Lacan (psychoanalysis), Jean-François Lyotard (postmodern conceptions of justice), and Étienne Balibar (critique of “equaliberty,” liberalism, and the nation-state).

The winding course of my life has also provided many opportunities to be immersed in critical New Testament studies and the history of theology. I read broadly in the field of New Testament studies and am finding a home in the “apocalyptic turn,” particularly in the work of Martinus C. de Boer, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, and Douglas A Campbell.