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Keanu Heydari is a historian of twentieth-century Europe. He focuses on French cultural, intellectual, and migration history.

Heydari was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He is currently a fifth-year doctoral candidate in History at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from where he also received his Master of Arts in History in April 2022. Heydari is an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., History, French language minor, 2017). Heydari’s dissertation examines Iranian students, political dissidents, and intellectuals in Europe after the 1953 coup d’état.

He is 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). Heydari spends time reading in critical New Testament studies and the history of theology. He is finding a home in the “apocalyptic turn,” particularly in the work of Martinus C. de Boer, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, and Douglas A Campbell.

Learn more about the Persepolis Unbound project below

Keanu Heydari
On "Persepolis Unbound"
This new venture is titled Persepolis Unbound, with an eye toward Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound. The tyranny of Jupiter is here eclipsed by what I’m calling my “affective exile.” Protesting against the discourse of authenticity (so common in late twentieth-century Iranian intellectual production) I want to bring to light the vagaries of my experience as …
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Podcasts and Speaking Engagements


Keanu Heydari
History Ph.D. Candidate @umich | he/him/his | Modern Europe | Franco-Iranian Relations | Migration studies | Apocalyptic/New Testament studies