Lacy Noel Feigh

A casual headshot of Feigh with a patterned scarf and

Ph.D. Candidate

2021-22 Perry World House Graduate Associate

Lacy Feigh is a PhD Candidate in the History Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, titled 'As Pretty As an Abyssinian Girl Could Be': Race and Empire in the Nile Valley, examines histories of enslavement and legacies of racial and ethnic hierarchies upon which the modern Ethiopian state was built and sustained. Feigh's work looks beyond the borders of the highland empire, to show how national identity can be shaped both at home and across diasporas, including those in Cairo, Rome, and the Atlantic World. Through her work, Feigh is committed to re-connecting Middle East and African Studies by examining the lives of those who lived outside of and between the borders of traditional area studies. Her dissertation research in Ethiopia, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, and Oman, has been funded by SSRC’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. Prior to beginning her graduate work, Lacy taught as a Fulbright English Teaching Associate in Amman, Jordan and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in YirgAlem, Ethiopia. You can check out a piece she wrote on Peace Corps in the Washington Post’s “Made by History” column, here

Committee Members:

Lee Cassanelli

Eve Troutt Powell

Firoozeh Kasani-Sabet




M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania (2017)

B.A., History and Political Science, Presbyterian College (2012)


Research Interests


Race, Labor, and Migration

Modern Middle Eastern and Indian Ocean Frontiers

Greater Horn of Africa

Courses Taught

Forthcoming, Spring 2022: From Rastafari to Haile Selassie: A Global History of Modern Ethiopia

Summer Prep 2021: You Are What You Eat: A Global History of Food and Drink

TA for: African History Since 1800, History of the Modern Middle East, Making of the Modern World, History of Foreign Aid in Africa


African Studies Association

Middle East Studies Association


CV (file)