William Figueroa

Graduate Student Researcher

Bill Figueroa is a graduate student currently pursuing a PhD in the history department at University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on global Cold War history, and in particular the relationship between Iran and China. He completed his undergraduate degree at Rice University, where he studied social science methodology and modern Chinese society, and received a dual Bachelors degree in Anthropology and Asian Studies in 2010. In 2012, he broadened his focus to the modern Middle East and its interactions with China upon the beginning of his graduate career at Penn. He has studied Farsi in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as well as the UT-Austin's intensive summer language program, and Mandarin in Beijing at Peking University and Central University for Nationalities. Currently, he is working on completing his dissertation on the impact of Chinese political thought on the Iranian revolution and the rise of explicitly Maoist Iranian communist organizations in the aftermath of the Sino-Soviet split.


At the MEC, Bill is a graduate student researcher, and assists with coordinating events like the 2018 Iranian Graduate Student Workshop, as well as grant applications and other office duties.

Rice University, 2010, B.A in Anthropology and East Asian Studies

University of Pennsylvania, 2013, M.A in East Asian Languages and Cultures

University of Pennsylvania, Ongoing, PhD in History

English, Mandarin and Farsi (research level)

Global Cold War History, modern Iranian History, modern Chinese History, Sino-Iranian Relations, the international impact of Maoism, the Sino-Soviet Split, history of the Iranian Left, history of political Islam, Iranian student movements, Iranian Maoism