Alice Kezhaya

Graduate Student
PhD Cohort 2020


-M.A., Transnational American Studies, American University of Beirut, 2017

-B.A., English Literature, Minor in Social and Political Thought, American University of Beirut, 2015


Alice is an organizer, a teacher, and a first-gen academic. She began her doctoral study at UCSBs Global Studies program in 2020.


While preparing her Masters final project at the AUB, in which she attempted to write a history of racialization in Lebanon as a separate but often overlapping process with sectarianism, she witnessed and experienced the 2015 trash crisis. As she was thinking and writing about race, mountains of trash grew at every street corner of Beirut and beyond, and she began to think about how this explosion of waste only felt disruptive because it extended beyond its usual geography. By questioning which communities in Beirut and in Lebanon always lived under these extraordinary conditions—conditions that all people were temporarily experiencing for the first time, she began to think about racialization through proximity to waste and landfills in Lebanon. This is the work she hopes to engage in through her doctoral study.


Alice is deeply interested in South West Asian/North African history and the history of the Global South more broadly, critical environmental justice, critical race and migration studies, and cultural studies. She is invested in ensuring her work within the academy remains accessible for all people, and she remains committed to a decolonial pedagogy.


She is fluent in English and French, proficient in Levantine Arabic, and is currently learning Modern Standard Arabic and Spanish. She balances her academics with a healthy dose of art appreciation and creation, focusing primarily on music, illustration, and painting. 


Conference Presentations:

-Whose/Whos Trash: Lebanon in Crisis,15th Annual Historical Materialism Conference - Race & Capital Stream, University of London School of Oriental and Asian Studies; London, November 9, 2018.

-Trumps America: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,” RUMPUS: America and the Age of Trump, American University in Cairo; Cairo, May 13, 2017.

-Language Borders: Linguistic Mapping in Beirut,” Multilingualism Across Disciplinary Borders, American University of Beirut and Institut de Recherche pour le Développement; Beirut, April 7, 2014.



-Associate Editor, Journal of Environment & Development, October 2020-March 2021.

-Departmental Diversity Fellowship Intern, Summer 2021.



"I am so tired of waiting,

Aren't you,

For the world to become good

And beautiful and kind?

Let us take a knife

And cut the world in two -

And see what worms are eating

At the rind."

Langston Hughes



Graduate Student Instructor (TA):

-GLOBL 2: Political Economy, Summer 2021