About Me

Hello! I am Melinda Cohoon

A PhD Candidate in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington

I research Iranian and Iranian-American gamers in World of Warcraft. I also focus on the spread of information and disinformation across 4Chan, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitch.TV, and Twitter.

Any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me.

My email is mecohoon@uw.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What motivated you to go to graduate school?

As a first-generation and low-income student, I was motivated by generations of women before me who wanted the opportunity to even obtain an undergraduate education. My family history as well as my own personal growth made me want to continue my education.

2. How did you become interested in the Middle East? How did you decide to research Iran?

I became interested in the Middle East around the time the US war in Iraq began. It was my undergraduate history coursework that piqued my interest. I changed my focus from Iraq to Iran during my MA in Middle East studies, and then turned toward computational social sciences and ethnography after defending my MA thesis on the Qajar Empire. What motivated me to change my focus from the Arab world to Iran had by in large to due with the intellectual community at the University of Washington. I have a strong support system in both NELC, NMES, and JSIS.

3. When are you going to be done with graduate school?

The proverbial question for any graduate student tends to be when they are going to graduate. I am a 4th year PhD student beginning my dissertation field research. I plan to be in the field and write/defend the dissertation over the course of the next 2-3 years. Throughout this entire process, I will be simultaneously conducting my research, disseminating my findings through conferences, honing technical skills, producing new posts for digitaliranproject.com and iranianvideogames.com, and publishing articles.

4. What are your goals after graduate school?

I dream of being a tenured-track professor at a research institution. However, with the dwindling job market, I am open to working for social media companies, or consulting on video game development.