Dr James Barry



Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


+61 3 924 43922


James Barry is an Associate Research Fellow with Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation.

James’ research interests involve the intersections of religious, linguistic and national conceptions of identity in the Middle East, specifically Iran. James speaks Armenian and Persian-Farsi. He has a long standing relationship with the Armenian community in Australia, and has been interviewed for community radio and magazines in both Australia and the United States, and has worked with several Iranian expatriate communities at each end of the Pacific Rim.

In 2013 James received his PhD from Monash University for his thesis ‘My Nation is not Soil, My Nation is Alive: Armenian Christian Identity in the Islamic Republic of Iran’. James’ dissertation was an ethnographic study focusing on the sense of identity experienced by religious minorities in the Islamic Republic. This involved research in social institutions such as sports clubs, ethnic affiliated restaurants and churches, the general sites where identity is formed and reinforced. His fieldwork site was Tehran, though with additional interviews were conducted in Armenia, Australia and the United States. His findings not only have contributed to understandings of how is constructed in Iran today, but also these identities differ between generations and are changed by the process of migration. He is currently preparing the manuscript for publication.

In addition to his work at ADI, James has an ongoing involvement in research on decision-making among irregular maritime arrivals to Australia, particularly migrants from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. James was a lecturer at Monash University from 2012 to 2014.

Read more on James's profile

Knowledge areas

Religion and nationalism in the Middle East
Minorities in the Middle East
Language and identity.

Media appearances