Photo of Azar Masoumi

Azar Masoumi

Assistant Professor

Degrees:Ph.D. Sociology (York University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2596
Office:A711 Loeb Building


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. I study the politics of state-controlled refugee protection (particularly in relation to gender-based and queer refugees) as well as the interface between historical change, alternative historiographies and embodied memory. I am currently preparing my multi-method, genealogical research on Canadian refugee protection (Funded by SSHRC and OGS grants) for publication as a book manuscript with UBC Press.

I have two ongoing research projects. First, my colleague Ronak Ghorbani (York University) and I are creating an online Oral History archive on memories of the 1979 Iranian revolution (funded by a Carleton University-SSHRC Knowledge Mobilization Exchange Grant). This project, titled Enghelab Shod [Farsi for “The Revolution Happened”] aims to understand the Iranian revolution from the perspective of everyday folks who lived through it, and emphasizes embodied and affective dimensions of memory.

Second, I am researching language interpretation services for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) refugees in Canada. This study (funded by FASS Early Career Research Award and Acadia University Research fund) considers both the geopolitics of translation in the global context of sexual imperialism, as well as the structural implications of interpretation as a mode of precarious labour.

My research have been published in peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and includes publications on sex and sovereignty, limitations of feminist legal change, race and neoliberalism, and state multiculturalism. I am a community-engaged researcher with commitment to social justice, and a member of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

I am currently accepting graduate students interested in the fields of critical migration and refugee studies, political sociology, and socio-legal studies, and welcoming inquiries about specific areas of supervision.

Selected Publications

Masoumi, Azar. 2021. “Fast Refugee Protection: Temporality and Migration Control.” Social & Legal Studies. Published online.

Masoumi, Azar. 2021. “Contagious Terror: Violence, Haunting and the Work of Refugee Protection.” Studies in Social Justice 15 (3): 475-496.

Masoumi, Azar. 2020. “‘Some Nice Latin American Music Will Be Played by a Tape Player’: Anti-Racist Critique and the Multicultural State.” Social identities 26 (5): 705–718.

Masoumi, Azar. 2020. “The Battle of Numbers: Refugee Protection, Race, and Neoliberal Politics of Bureaucratic Efficiency.” Oñati Socio-Legal Series 10 (6): 1084-1106. Published online 2019.

Masoumi, Azar. 2019. “The Politics of “Doing Exactly Nothing”: Feminist Legal Change and Bureaucratic Administration of Refugee Protection.” Feminist Legal Studies 27 (3), 243-261.

Masoumi, Azar. 2019. “‘Come Out and Be Free!’: Coming Out and the (International) Government of Sexualities.” In Governing the Social in Neoliberal Times, edited by Deborah Brock. University of British Columbia Press.

Masoumi, Azar. 2018. “Compulsory Coming Out and Agentic Negotiations: Toronto QTPOC Narratives.” In Queering Urban Justice: Queer of Colour Formations in Toronto, edited by Jin Haritaworn, Ghaida Moussa, and Syrus Marcus Ware. University of Toronto Press.

Masoumi, Azar. 2016. “(Stop) Deporting Pegah: Sovereignty, (Public) Sex, and (Life)/Death.” Social Justice 43 (4), 22-43.