Curriculum Vitae



PhD, History, UC San Diego. Dissertation: “‘A Measure of All Nations’: Girls’ Schools and Constructions of Citizenship in French Mandate Lebanon, 1919-1951.” Advisors: Michael Provence and Hasan Kayali. 2022.

MA, History, California State University, Fullerton. Thesis: “Creating the Syrian-American Generation: Intellectual, Women, the ‘Average Yusuf,’ and Identity Formation in the Interwar Years.” Advisor: Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi. 2011.

BA, History, California Lutheran University. 2008.

Research and Teaching Interests

education; women and gender; nationalism. citizenship; social and political history of the Middle East in the nineteenth through twenty-first century; the Middle East in the world and migration; world and global history; writing pedagogy


Johanna L Peterson, “Fashioning Women Citizens in al-Fajr: Reading the Domestic as National in a Conversation between a Mother and Daughter, 1919-1920.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 18, no. 3 (2022): 387-407.

(Book review) Johanna L Peterson, Gendering Culture in Greater Syria: Intellectuals and Ideology in the Late Ottoman Empire, Fruma Zachs and Sharon Halevi, 2015. Syrian Studies Association Bulletin 21, no. 1 (Fall 2016): 11-14.

Johanna L Peterson, “A New Nationalism: Women Writers on the Lebanese Civil War,” Welebaethan Journal of History (2010): 115-125. Winner, Best Women’s History Paper.

Awards, Honors, Grants, and Fellowships

Teaching + Learning Commons Changemaker Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Community Fellow, UC San Diego, 2023-2024

Co-PI, UCEAP Academic Integration Grant, University of California, 2021-2022

Dean of Arts and Humanities Travel Grant, UC San Diego, 2019, 2018

Presbyterian Historical Society Research Fellowship, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA, 2018

Department of History Travel Grant, UC San Diego, 2018

Don Tuzin Teaching Excellence Award, Making of the Modern World Program, UC San Diego, 2018

Graduate Student Association Travel Grant, UC San Diego, 2017

Frontiers of Innovation Scholarship Program, UC San Diego, 2016

Weismann Language Scholarship, Department of History, UC San Diego, 2014

Nancy Fitch Women’s and Gender History Award, Department of History, Cal State Fullerton

Conference and Workshop Participation


Making of the Modern World Symposium, “Addressing Race, Racism, and Anti-Blackness through MMW, ” February 2021. Organizer.

“Charity for the Nation: Girls’ School, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and Women’s Citizenship in French Mandate Lebanon.” 35th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference, Chicago, IL, May 14-16 2021. Presenter.

“The Case of the Tripoli Girls’ School: Rethinking Women, Education, Nation, and Citizenship.” Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, New Orleans, LA, November 14-17, 2019. Presenter.

“‘The Perfect Stature of Active Citizens in the Kingdom of God’: Defining Civic Participation at the American School for Girls in Beirut, 1919-1951.” Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, San Antonio, TX. Accepted.

“Policy in Practice: Defining the Limits of the State and the Citizen in Lebanese Girls’ Schools, 1919-1951.” World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, Seville, Spain, July 16-20, 2018. Presenter.

“Policy in Practice: Subverting the Colonial and the National in Lebanese Girls’ Schools during the French Mandate.” Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Washington, DC, November 18-21, 2017. Presenter.

“‘To Help All Syrian and Lebanese Needy Wherever’: The Syrian Ladies’ Aid Society and Identity Formation in the Diaspora.” Society for the History of Women in the Americas Annual Conference, Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford, July 6, 2017. Presenter.

“Nation, Girls’ Education, and the Women’s Press in Lebanon, 1919-1922.” Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Denver, Colorado, November 2015. Presenter.

“The Syrian-Americans: (Re)Defining Identity during the Mandate Period.” Fourth Annual Middle Eastern Studies Conference, California Polytechnic University, Pomona, October 2011. Presenter.

“Creating a Syrian-American Identity: Intellectual Ideals versus Average Joe Realities.” Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, Chapman University, April 2011. Presenter.

“Creating Syrians: Identity, Americanization, and Womanhood, 1920-1930,” Southwestern Social Science Association Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2011. Presenter.

“A New Nationalism: Women on the Lebanese Civil War.” Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, California State University, Bakersfield, April 2010. Presenter.

“A Split Policy: British Colony-Making Before and After Cromwell.” Festival of Scholars, California Lutheran University, April 2007. Presenter.


Women and the Transregional Circulation of Knowledge, from 1800-1950, Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, Germany, June 20-22, 2019. Participant

Global Education Committee, Institute of Arts and Humanities, UC San Diego, 2018-2019. Convener.

Lebanon Doctoral Dissertation Development Institute, American University of Beirut, June 12-23, 2017. Participant.

Campus Talks

“History and the Stories It Tells,” California Lutheran University Festival of Scholars, May 1, 2019. Keynote Speaker.

“Incorporating Difference in the Ottoman Empire: State and Religion,” UC San Diego, May 28, 2015. Guest lecturer.

Teaching Experience and Curricular Development

Associate Director and Academic Coordinator, Making of the Modern World, Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego, July 2022-present

Assistant Director and Academic Coordinator, Making of the Modern World, Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego, July 2020-July 2022

Instructor, Mesa College, San Diego Community College District
History of the Modern Middle East, Spring 2020

Instructor of Record, Making of the Modern World, Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego
Exploring the Modern World, Summer 2019, Winter 2023

Instructor of Record, History Department, UC San Diego
U. S. Policy in the Middle East after World War II, Spring 2018

Teaching Assistant, Making of the Modern World, Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego
The Twentieth Century and Beyond, Spring 2016, Spring 2019
Revolution, Industry, and Empire, Winter 2019
Academic Support, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Winter 2020
Exploring the Modern World, Winter 2016, Winter 2018
Exploring the Pre-Modern World, Fall 2015, Fall 2017
New Ideas and Cross Cultural Encounters, Spring 2015
Classical and Medieval Traditions, Winter 2015

Reader, History Department, UC San Diego
History of Mexican America, Summer 2015
The French Revolution, Spring 2014
The History of Mexico, Nineteenth Century, Winter 2014


Departmental Service
Eleanor Roosevelt College Coordinator of Student Activities Search Committee, Member, 2022

Eleanor Roosevelt College Undergraduate Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, Member, 2022

History Department Head TA, September 2019-June 2020

History Graduate Student Collective, Middle East Field Group Representative, September 2014-June 2016

Early Modern Middle East Faculty Search Committee, Graduate Student Representative, 2015-2016

Service to the Field
Member, Nominating Committee, Lebanese Studies Association, 2018

Center for Engaged Teaching, CIRTL, 2015

Public History Projects
Volunteer, Women’s Museum of California, San Diego, CA, 2017-2018

United States Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Courthouse Centennial Exhibit, San Diego, CA, 2013

Associate Editor, Welebaethan Journal of History, California State University, Fullerton, History Department, 2009-2010

Archival Intern, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation, Simi Valley, CA, 2007


Arabic, low advanced fluency in reading, intermediate fluency in speaking
French, high intermediate fluency in reading, intermediate fluency in speaking
Spanish, intermediate fluency in reading and speaking

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

Professional Memberships
Lebanese Studies Association
Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
Phi Alpha Theta, Theta-Pi Chapter
Omicron Delta Kappa

Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, American University of Beirut, January-August 2017