People / Graduate Students

Graduate Students

AJ Kurdi

Research Interests

International Norm Diffusion, Critical Policy Analysis, Social Movements, Queer of Color Critique, Diaspora and Transnationalism

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Bio & Research

AJ is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His doctoral research aims to detangle conceptual and empirical puzzles pertaining to transnational social movements, equality policies and intersectionality. By conducting a comparative study on the self-organization of queer Arab and Romani people in Budapest, Berlin, New York and Montréal, he seeks to demonstrate how different forms of ethnic minority queer organizing shape the priorities and political orientations of mainstream LGBTQI movements, donor organizations and public policies in the European Union and North America.

His previous work focuses broadly on queer social movement debates and transnational networks in West Asia and the various forms of discrimination queer Romani people face in Central and Eastern Europe. He has published in the Journal of Israeli History, the Critical Romani Studies, and International Journal of Discrimination and the Law.

AJ received his M.A. in Critical Gender Studies with Distinction from the Central European University (Vienna, Austria) in 2021, and his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem (Budapest, Hungary) in 2019.

In his spare time he can be found regularly updating his techno playlist and expanding his underground comix collection.