Natalie Khazaal

Assistant Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Modern Languages
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Dr. Natalie Khazaal is an assistant professor in the School of Modern Languages. She grew up in Burgas—the largest port city on the Black Sea, and received her doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of Los Angeles. 

Dr. Khazaal studies the links among disenfranchisement, media, and language. Her latest book, “Pretty Liar: Television, Language, and Gender in Wartime Lebanon” (Syracuse UP, 2018), is the only study that explores the role of audiences in the development of media legitimacy during violent crises with a focus on Lebanon, while her work on speciesism in the media has received international recognition in Spain, Turkey, Australia, Canada, and the US. Her forthcoming book is co-edited volume on displacement, borders, and animals that will be of interest to scholars, journalists, and a range of (non)governmental organizations devoted to social justice ("'Like an Animal"': Critical Animal Studies Approaches on Borders, Displacement, and Othering," Brill 2020). She is a 2019 fellow of the ACLS/Luce Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs for another current focus of hers—her work on the making of a novel minority of atheists in Arab communities.  

Dr. Khazaal has taught classes on Arab culture, media, and globalization that develop students’ critical thinking, curiosity, and cultural tolerance at Georgetown University, UCLA, Carleton College, Middlebury College, and TAMU. She was the founding faculty advisor for No Lost Generation-Texas, a student initiative that connects with aid organizations, NGOs, governments, and the private sector to help with the global refugee/migrant crisis relief efforts. She was also a founding board member of the Cannon River STEM School and a cultural consultant for the 2005 Spielberg movie Munich and other popular productions. Currently she is on the board of Ideas Beyond Borders—a non-profit organization that supports young people to think critically about topics ranging from human rights to science and technology, encouraging them to retain their cultural identities but question the status quo and push back against extremism and violence.


  • Ph.D. (UCLA)
Awards and
  • 2019 fellow of the ACLS/Luce Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs
Areas of
  • Disenfranchisement
  • Language
  • Media


Research Fields:
  • Arabic
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Middle East

All Publications


Journal Articles