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Faculty Directory

Som Pourfarzaneh

Assistant Professor of Islamic & Digital Media Studies

Consortial Faculty
At the GTU since

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh is the Assistant Professor of Islamic and Digital Media Studies at Starr King School for the Ministry. He holds a Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and was part of the first cohort to graduate from Starr King’s Master of Arts in Social Change (MASC) program in its inaugural year. He also holds a B.A. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Pourfarzaneh’s academic work focuses on Islam and Media, Muslims in America, Anthropology of Islam, Digital and Social Media, Social Justice, Cultural Production, Interreligious Dialogue, and Multi-Religious Identity. Outside of the academy, he has also written and worked for high-profile entertainment companies and editorial websites such as Electronic Arts, Perfect World Entertainment, Modus Games, and, and is the author of four books and three games.

Degrees and Certifications

Ph.D. (Graduate Theological Union, 2013)

MASC (Starr King School for the Ministry, 2007)

BA (University of California, Berkeley, 2003)

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Digital and Social Media
  • Muslims in America
  • Social Justice
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Multi-Religiosity
Selected Publications
  • "Muslim Cultural Producers in the United States: Countering Stereotypes with Media+, Social Networks, and Cultural Production" – Dissertation, 2013.
  • “Muslims Leadership for Social Action” – Religious Leadership for Social Action, Sharon Henderson Callahan, ed., SAGE 2013.
  • "Minorities in Gaming - Theorizing Representation As Revolutionary” –, 2016.
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Islam
  • Muslims in America
  • Counter-Oppressive Media
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Multi-Religious Intensive