On January 24, two Asian Studies faculty were involved in a panel on “Middle Eastern Women Writers and their Impacts.” Assistant Professor Claudia Yaghoobi organized the event, while Associate Professor and Chair of Asian Studies Nadia Yaqub served as a moderator. Two scholars were invited to give talks on the topic. Dr. Nasrin Rahimieh (UC Irvine) discussed the flourishing of Iranian women’s writing in the wake of the 1979 revolution and questioned whether this phenomenon is a reflection or byproduct of the revolution and what it might reveal about the conditions of women’s belonging to the national imaginary. Dr. Nesreen Akhtarkhavari (DePaul University) discussed Jordanian women writers and their contributions to the local and regional literary scene with a focus on the award-winning writer Samiha Kharis and her ability to breathe life into her work creating a range of Arab women protagonists, unrestrained and faithful to their social and cultural fabrics. Around 50 people both from the campus and the public community were in attendance.​

On February 20, Dr. Yaghoobi organized a book reading for Dr. Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh (Northeastern Illinois University) who discussed his book The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani  (Syracuse University Press, 2015), and the role of Islamic jurisprudence and political reform in Iran. Dr. Yaghoobi also organized a panel on the topic of the Iran-Iraq (1980-1988) war. Dr. Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh (Northeastern Illinois University) and Dr. Amir Khadem (University of Alberta) were featured scholars who spoke on the war and its aftermath.

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