PhD Candidate and Research Fellow, Western Sydney University

Rhonda Itaoui is a Research Fellow with the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, working in the Global Justice program on Islamophobia and the exclusion of Muslims in the West. In addition to her appointment as a fellow, she is in the final year of a Ph.D. program in Social Sciences at Western Sydney University in Australia, and a Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project.

Her international Ph.D. fieldwork explores the impact of globalized Islamophobia on the spatial mobility of young Muslims in the California Bay Area, and Sydney, Australia, with her Sydney findings featured in two recently peer-reviewed articles, "The Geography of Islamophobia in Sydney: Mapping the Spatial Imaginaries of young Muslims," and "Media Representations of Racism and Spatial Mobility: Young Muslim (Un)belonging in a Post-Cronulla Riot Sutherland."

Research interests: racialization and racism, cultural/social geographies, cultural planning and multicultural studies

Key skills: research project management, quantitative/qualitative research methods, grant acquisition, content development for a range of platforms/audiences, writing/editing.


  • 2014–present
    Research assistant, Western Sydney University
  • 2014–present
    PhD Candidate, Western Sydney University
  • 2017–present
    Research fellow, UC Berkeley


  • 2014 
    University of Western Sydney, Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours, Class 1)


  • 2017
    Media representations of racism and spatial mobility: Young Muslim (un)belonging in a post-Cronulla Riot Sutherland, Journal of Intercultural Studies
  • 2016
    The Geography of Islamophobia in Sydney: Mapping the Spatial Imaginaries of young Muslims, Australian Geographer

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    Endeavour Scholarship
    Funding Source:
    Australian Government


Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, Australian Postgraduate Award, Western Sydney University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship