Dr. Laila Ballout is an Assistant Professor of 20th century U.S. History at Wichita State University, and serves as an advisor to the International Studies program at WSU. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of History at Northwestern University in 2017. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections of 20th century U.S. politics and culture, U.S. foreign relations and empire, immigration history, religion and politics, and the recent history of the Middle East. Her scholarly writing has appeared in Diplomatic History. Her current book project, Saving Lebanon: Religion, Ethnic Politics, and Human Rights in the Reagan Era, examines how U.S. entanglements with war in Lebanon from 1976-1990 reshaped the role of religion in U.S. foreign policy, the political advocacy of Middle Eastern-Americans, and human rights politics.

Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2017

M.A., Northwestern University, 2010

B.A., University of New Hampshire, 2008


Academic Interests and Expertise
  • 20th C. United States
  • 20th C. Middle East
  • U.S. Foreign Relations
  • Religion and U.S. Politics
  • Immigration History
Areas of Teaching Interest

Check in with Professor Ballout if you'd like to know when these courses will next be offered:

  • Hist: 132 1865 to the Present 
  • Hist 300: Introduction to Historical Research and Writing 
  • Hist 333: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration 1900 to present  
  • Hist 508: United States since 1945 
  • Hist 513: U.S. and the Middle East 1900 to present 
  • Hist 514: Modern Middle East  
  • Hist 522: U.S. Foreign Relations 1898 to present 
  • Hist 725: Advanced Historical Methods
  • "Vanguard of the Religious Right: U.S. Evangelicals in Israeli-Controlled South Lebanon," Diplomatic History 46, no. 3 (2022): 602-626.