Mariam Georgis (she/her)

Assistant Professor

AQ 5090

As a scholar of global Indigenous politics, my teaching and research take a global approach to colonialism, Indigeneities, and southwest Asia (Middle East). Globalizing colonialism to think about multiple frontiers of empire – Western and non-Western – and the complexity of race, borders and Indigeneities, I am engaged in research that builds a transnational understanding of Indigeneities, self-determination, sovereignty, and decolonization. Grounded in my positioning as an Assyrian, Indigenous to present-day Iraq, dis/replaced to stolen Indigenous lands in present-day Canada, I use decolonial and Indigenous feminist approaches to disrupt and challenge contemporary understandings of southwest Asian politics and societies.

Prior to joining SFU and relocating to the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, I was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in Mamawipawin: Centre for Indigenous Governance and Community Based Research and the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba. 


  • PhD Political Science, University of Alberta, 2017
  • MA Political Science, McMaster University 2008
  • Hons BA Political Science, McMaster University 2007


Trained as a political scientist (International Relations and Comparative Politics of the global South), my research is situated at the intersection of global politics, Critical Indigenous Studies, and Middle East Studies.

Broadly my scholarship centres Indigeneity, race, and gender to look at global issues of security focusing on conflict, violence, and intervention in the global South. My work situates dispossession and displacement within colonial and racist nation and state building models globally, with a particular focus on the formation of southwest Asia as a region.  My interests in the contemporary politics of southwest Asia are situated within the global War on Terror and emphasize socially transformative civil society, resistance, and solidarity movements throughout the region and globally.

Historical and ongoing Assyrian experiences of multiple colonialisms, occupations, and displacements inform and animate my explorations of Indigenous nationhood and sovereignties as models of decolonial governance. Focused on present-day Iraq with plans to extend my work to Assyrians in present-day Iran, Turkey and Syria, my research imagines the transformative possibilities of sovereignties within multi-nation contexts by de-linking sovereignty from the state.


“Traversing disciplinary boundaries, globalizing Indigeneities: Visibilizing Assyrians in the present.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism. Vol.23, Issue 1: Special Issue ‘Indigenous Feminisms Across the World’ (2024): 182-209.

“The Rise of ISIS in Post-Invasion Iraq: A Manifestation of (Neo)colonial Violence.” The Myth of Middle East Exceptionalism: Unfinished Social Movements, ed. Mojtaba Mahdavi. NY: Syracuse University Press, 2023.

“Indigenising International Relations: Insights from Centering Indigeneity in Canada and Iraq.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies. Vol 50, No. 1 (2021): 174-198. (with Nicole Lugosi-Schimpf)

“Violence on Iraqi Bodies: Decolonizing Economic Sanctions in Security Studies.” Third World Quarterly. Vol. 40, Issue 2: Special Issue ‘Empire to Globalization: Violence and the Making of the Third World’ (2019): 317-336. (with Riva Gewarges)

“Nation and Identity Construction in Modern Iraq: Reinserting the Assyrians.” Unsettling Colonial Modernity in Islamicate Contexts, eds. Siavash Saffari, Roxana Akhbari, Kara Abdolmaleki, Evelyn Hamdon. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.

“(Re)inserting Race and Indigeneity in International Relations Theory: A Post-Colonial Approach.” Global Change, Peace & Security.  Vol. 26, No. 1 (2014): 71-83. (with Nicole Lugosi)

Popular Scholarship

“We are not ‘Iraq’s Minorities’: Assyrians 20 Years Post-Invasion.” 25 June 2023. 1001 Iraqi Thoughts Special Series – Iraq after 2003: The Voices of Iraqi Women.

“Disney’s ‘Encanto’ shows healing from intergenerational trauma.” 24 March 2022. The Conversation Canada.

Other Links




Future courses may be subject to change.