Navid Farnia

Navid Farnia

Assistant Professor

5057 Woodward Ave., Room 11002.1


African American Studies

Navid Farnia

Navid Farnia is an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies. His research broadly explores the relationship between racial oppression in the United States and U.S. imperialism. Dr. Farnia’s book manuscript, "National Liberation in an Imperialist World: Race, Counterrevolution, and the United States," traces the U.S. national security state’s evolution by examining how U.S. officials responded to national liberation movements at home and abroad from the 1950s to 1980. The book looks at several cases, including the Cuban Revolution, the 1960s Black urban rebellions, the Vietnam War, the Black Panther Party, the siege at Wounded Knee, and Zimbabwe’s independence struggle. In doing so, it highlights the interrelated strategies the United States used to export racial oppression while importing the violent machinations of its global empire. The project makes sense of the national security state’s evolution by showing how the strategies and tactics used against liberation movements triggered modern forms of policing and warfare. These strategies and tactics facilitated the national security state’s globalization, or in other words, the making of a national security empire. The U.S.’s national security empire, Dr. Farnia argues, is a transnational counterrevolutionary apparatus that targets racialized populations at home and abroad.

Dr. Farnia has previously taught courses at Princeton University, Wake Forest University, Eastern Illinois University, Portland State University, and Ohio State University. His courses have covered African American, African, U.S., and Atlantic world history. In December 2019, he organized an event at Eastern Illinois on the fiftieth anniversary of the assassinations of the Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. As part of the event, Stan McKinney and Henry Nesbitt, Panther members from the Party’s Illinois chapter visited campus, shared their experiences with students, and spoke about Fred Hampton.

Dr. Farnia has also written for the African American Intellectual History Society and Picturing Black History. His article for AAIHS, “On ‘Looting’ in an Apartheid State,” challenges the racially loaded discourse on “looting,” which resurfaced after the 2020 protests against state violence in Black communities. His PBH article, “Don’t Call It a Riot,” places the 1992 Los Angeles uprising and the government’s overwhelming repressive response in historical context. In his spare time, Dr. Farnia writes about race and current events and enjoys watching sports, particularly basketball, soccer, and baseball.


  • Ph.D. in African American and African Studies, Ohio State University
  • M.A. in African American Studies, Columbia University
  • B.S. in Communication, Cornell University

News mentions

Courses taught by Navid Farnia

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022