Coordinator, Persian program
Roshan Institute Assistant Professor in Persian Studies
My research concerns the literature of the Middle East with a special focus on Persian literature. My first book project, Construction of Subjectivity in ʿAttar and Persian Sufi Tradition (forthcoming 2017 from Purdue University Press), reassesses the significance of the concept of transgression and construction of subjectivity within select works of the medieval Persian Sufi poet Farid al-Din ‘Attar (1145-1221). My current research project, tentatively titled Body Politics and Temporary Marriages in Modern Iranian Literature and Film, examines the figure of the so-called female sexual deviator at the mercy of the practice of sigheh (temporary marriage), the female body and sexuality, and their stigmatization in Persian fiction written under the Pahlavi regime and film productions after the Islamic Republic. In general, my work addresses the embodiments of liminality through which authors/directors challenge social hegemonies. All of my work employs an interdisciplinary approach to study liminal figures that defy categorization. I posit that literature/film can fulfill the demand of giving attention to the marginalized members of society by awakening in readers a sense of openness to alternative possibilities.
NYU-Abu Dhabi Institute Conference Organization Grant awarded to organize the conference titled: “Marriage, Family, Religion, and Culture in Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Iran and the Middle East,” in New York University in Abu Dhabi, on January 9-10, 2017. (co-organized with Janet Afary).
The Hammed Shahidian Critical Feminist Award, The Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation, 2014
The Jafar and Shokoh Farzaneh Paper Prize in Persian Literature and Culture, South Central Modern Language Association, 2012
PRSN 305: Advanced Persian I
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Yusuf’s Queer Beauty in Persian Cultural Productions. The Comparatist. (forthcoming Fall 2016)
Socially Peripheral, Symbolically Central: Sima in Behrouz Afkhami’s Showkaran. A special Issue of Iranian Cinema in Journalof Asian Cinema. (Fall 2016)
Sexual Trauma and Spiritual Experience: Rabi’a al-‘A’dawiyya and Margery Kempe.Persian Literary Studies Journal 3. 4 (2014): 7392. http://plsj.shirazu.ac.ir/?_action=articleInfo&article=2907
Subjectivity in ‘Attar’s Shaykh San’an Story in Conference of the Birds. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 16/1 (March 2014) <http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.2425>.
Hamzisti dar Asar-e ‘Attar (Co-existence in ‘Attar’s Works). Rahavard Persian/English Journal of Iranian Studies 105: (January 2014): 142-152. (in Persian) http://www.rahavard.com/Index.cfm
Against the Current: Farid al-Din ‘Attar’s Diverse Voices. Persian Literary Studies Journal 1. 1 (autumn 2012): 87-109. http://plsj.shirazu.ac.ir/article_604_148.html *Awarded The Jafar and Shokoh Farzaneh Paper Prize in Persian Literature and Culture, South Central Modern Language Association
Female Spirituality and Male Acknowledgement: Rabi’a al-‘A’dawiyya. Clinton Bennett and Sarwar Alam, eds. Sufism, Pluralism, and Democracy, Equinox Publishing Ltd., forthcoming March 2017.
Shifting Sexual Ideology and Women’s Responses: Iran Between 1850-2010. Homa Hoodfar and Anissa Lucas-Helie, eds. Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance, Zed Books, 2012, pp. 52-80.