Dr. Rachel Kantz Feder




Dr. Rachel Kantz Feder is a researcher at the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University.  Her main research interests are modern Shi‘i religion, culture, and politics in the Middle East; history of modern Iraq and the role of modern psychology in decolonization movements.


June 2017: Ph.D., Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University

Title: Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and the Foundations of Modernization and Revivalism in Shi‘ism, 1946-1980

Supervisors: Prof. Meir Litvak and Prof. David Menashri

June 2010: M.A., Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University, magna cum laude

June 2008: B.A., Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University, magna cum laude


Academic and Professional Experience


Period (dates)

Name of Institution (city, country)













Tel Aviv University




Hebrew University





Hebrew University

TAU International Programs (M.A. and B.A. levels)


Rothberg International School’s M.A. Program for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies


Department for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Hebrew University

Adjunct Lecturer





Adjunct Lecturer






Adjunct Lecturer




Recent Awards and Scholarships

· Haifa University Integrated Postdoctoral Scholarship 2018-2020

· Short-term Visitorship at Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Historical Studies, Shi‘i Studies Research Program 2018

Peer-Reviewed Publications

 · “Fatima's Revolutionary Image in Fadak fi al-Ta’rikh: The Inception of Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr's Intellectual and Political Activism,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Special Issue: Intellectuals in the Modern Middle East, Vol. 41, No. 1 (2014), pp. 79-96.

 · The above article was also published in Intellectual Dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa, ed. Ewan Stein, (London: Routledge, 2015).

· “The Evolution of National Identity and the Constitution-Drafting Process in the Kurdistan-Iraq Region,” in The Kurds: Nation-Building in a Fragmented Homeland, ed. Ofra Bengio, (Austin: Texas University Press, 2014), pp. 99-117.

Selected Other Publications

  • “Iraqi-Israeli Normalization: Economic Solution or Accelerant of Internal Division?" in "The New Normal? Arab States and Normalization with Israel" Konrad Adenauer Foundation, April 7, 2021.
  • “The ‘Civil State’ and Public Discourse on Religion-State Relations in Post-Mubarak Egypt,” Tzomet HaMizrach HaTichon, Vol. 7, No. 8, August 6, 2017. (in Hebrew)
  • “The ‘Civil State’ in Arab Political Discourse after the Arab Spring,” Tel Aviv Notes Vol. 8, No. 10, May 26, 2014.
  • “Obstacles to Iranian Influence in Iraq: Shi‘i Leaders’ Pattern of Oscillation and Turkey’s Increasing Footprint,” OpenDemocracy.net, July 3, 2011.
  •  “Iraq’s Political Crisis and the Shadow of Sectarian Politics,” OpenDemocracy.net, December 28, 2011.


Selected International Conferences and Invited Lectures

· “The Struggle for Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr's Authority in Exile: Intra-Iraqi Shi‘i Splits amid Shifting Political Dynamics, 1980-2003,” Middle East Studies Association, Annual Conference, 2019.

·Haifa University Departmental Seminar, Israel. Title of lecture: “The Emergence of Modern Psychology in Iraq: Political, Social, and Cultural Aspects." 2018,


· “The Emergence of Psychology in Iran and Iraq: Perspectives from the ‘Ulama’,” presented at University of Chicago, April 2016.


Selected Courses Taught:


The History of Modern Iraq (M.A. level)

Research and Methodology Seminar (M.A. level)

Islamic Law in the Modern Era (B.A. level)

Islamic Philosophy in the Modern Era (B.A. level)

Arab Uprisings and Political Transitions (B.A. level)

Introduction to the Modern Middle East (B.A. level)



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