Virtual Conversations

In lieu of our lecture series and other public events, we have organized a series of “virtual conversations” with scholars of Iran and Persian Gulf studies. We will do our best to present a series that will introduce new scholarship and publications in a variety of disciplines.

Some of our Virtual Conversations are pre-recorded presentations that will be available on the date which is indicated on the poster.

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Spring 2022 Schedule

Past Conversations

Iran as a Space of World Thought
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

In their introduction to Manifestos of World Thought (2011, Rowman & Littlefield), Jason Bahbak Mohagheg and Lucian Stone write, "World thought must be understood as an immense distancing from all prior concepts of the world, an outsider calculus of betrayal and defection leading us to tread elsewhere in search of new visionary occasions."…

Formations of Translation in Contemporary Iran
Wed, Apr 20, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

In post-revolutionary Iran, Shi’a seminarians, theorists of the Islamic state, and the middle classes well-versed in English engage in reading and translating Western literature and philosophy, despite vast ideological differences between and among them. Since the 1990s, Iran has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the translation of continental…

This is the Voice of Iran: Insurgent Sounds, Subversive Silences, and the Popular Voice
Wed, Apr 6, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

After the 1953 coup, the Pahlavi State dissolved parliament, banned elections, and mobilized to silence critics. Opposition established clandestine radio stations abroad to remain politically engaged and called on the state to reinstate parliament and hold free elections. Clandestine radio was a physically and politically displaced medium. It…

The Unfinished History of the Iran-Iraq War: Faith, Firepower, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), founded after the Iranian revolution in 1979, is one of the most powerful and prominent but least understood organizations in Iran. In this book, Annie Tracy Samuel presents an innovative and compelling history of this organization and, by using the Iran-Iraq War as a focal point, analyzes the links…

Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran: Material Cultures in Transit
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran investigates how the cultural translation of cinema has been shaped by the physical translation of its ephemera. Kaveh Askari examines film circulation and its effect on Iranian film culture in the period before foreign studios established official distribution channels and Iran became a notable site of…

The Persian Revival: The Imperialism of the Copy in Iranian and Parsi Architecture
Wed, Mar 16, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

The Persian Revival examines Europe’s discovery of ancient Iran, first in literature and then in art history. Tracing Western visual discourse about ancient Iran from 1699 on, Grigor parses the invention and use of a revivalist architectural style from the Afsharid and Zand successors to the Safavid throne and the rise of the Parsi…

Iran in the Nazi New Order, 1933-1941
Wed, Mar 9, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

This talk explores the relationship between Nazi Germany and Reza Shah’s Iran by analyzing Iran’s place in the “New Order” devised by Reich Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht. Focusing on the state economic initiatives between Germany and Iran that were the basis of their relationship during the 1930s, Jenkins argues that the Nazism’s “drive to…

Kingdom of Clowns: Theatre as a Source for Writing History
Wed, Mar 2, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

How did Iranian theatre go from Shiite passion plays, slapstick, and animal play to the productions of Molière by street entertainers and political mimed performances by governors in support of the Constitutional Revolution? The evolution of Iranian theatre from indigenous performance to European-style playwriting in mid-nineteenth and early…

The U.S. Sanctions and the Collapse of the Iranian Reformist Movement
Wed, Feb 23, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

US sanctions on Iran have weakened the country’s middle class, and with that have dramatically undercut the voices of political moderation and change.  Today, Iran’s middle class has lost its appetite for political development as it struggles to maintain any semblance of economic security and a return to normalcy.  The growing fear of…

Does Skill Make Us Human? Migrant Workers in 21st-Century Qatar and Beyond
Wed, Feb 16, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Andrew Ross in conversation with the author Natasha Iskander

Through unique access to construction sites in Doha, in-depth research, and interviews, Iskander explores how migrants are recruited, trained, and used. Despite their acquisition of advanced technical skills, workers are commonly described as unskilled and disparaged as …

Women and the Islamic Republic: How Gendered Citizenship Conditions the Iranian State
Wed, Feb 9, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Arzoo Osanloo in conversation with the author Shirin Saeidi.

Based on extensive interviews and oral histories as well as archival sources, Women and the Islamic Republic challenges the dominant masculine theorizations of state-making in post-revolutionary Iran. Shirin Saeidi demonstrates that despite the Islamic…

Narrating Injustices: Iranian Women’s Petitions at the British Political Agent’s Court in Bahrain, 1930-1945
Wed, Feb 2, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Dr. Stephenson is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. Her dissertation, “Rerouting the Persian Gulf: the Transnationalization of Iranian Migrant Networks, c1900–1940” won the Association for…

The Forgotten Mundane: Contemporary Iran Beneath and Beyond Politics
Wed, Jan 26, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

A Roundtable Conversation

Scholarship on contemporary Iran has been under the shadow of the everchanging political landscape of the country. Beyond and beneath the most obvious manifestations of the political, however, life goes on with as many intricacies and complexities as in any other society the world. While everyday life in Iran…

Between Dreams and Ghosts: Indian Migration and Middle Eastern Oil
Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

With this book, Wright demonstrates how migration is deeply informed both by workers' dreams for the future and the ghosts of history, including the enduring legacies of colonial capitalism. As workers navigate bureaucratic hurdles to migration and working conditions in the Gulf, they in turn influence and inform state policies and corporate…

Western Privilege: Work, Intimacy, and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai
Wed, Nov 17, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Nearly 90 percent of residents in Dubai are foreigners with no Emirati nationality. As in many global cities, those who hold Western passports share specific advantages: prestigious careers, high salaries, and comfortable homes and lifestyles. Westernness is more than a passport; it is also an identity that requires emotional and bodily labor…

America and Iran: A History 1720 to the Present
Wed, Nov 10, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

In this rich, fascinating history, John Ghazvini an traces the complex story of the relations of these two powers back to the Persian Empire of the eighteenth century--the subject of great admiration of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams--and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government. 

Iranian Literature after the Islamic Revolution: Production and Circulation in Iran and the World
Wed, Nov 3, 2021, 5:00 pm6:00 pm

In this critical analysis, Laetitia Nanquette explores how Iranian literature has functioned and circulated since the 1979 revolution until the present. She looks at prose productions in particular, analysing several genres and media. Taking Iran as a starting point, Nanquette explores the forms, structures and functions of Iranian literature…

Perspectives on Studying Afghanistan: A Virtual Roundtable
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 11:00 am12:30 pm

Public and political commentaries on the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban abound in popular media, including numerous editorials about the failure of US policy and a rehashing of the trope of Afghanistan as the "graveyard of empires." Setting these approaches aside, four scholars will discuss their perspectives on the history and culture…

Refocus: The Films of Rakhshan Banietemad
Wed, Oct 27, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Rakhshan Banietemad is one of the first female film directors in Iran. This book, the first English language study of her films and career, contains chapters by some of the most prominent scholars of Iranian cinema, as well as younger scholars with innovative readings of her films. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, the book devotes…

Feeding Iran : Shi`i Families and the Making of the Islamic Republic
Wed, Oct 13, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Nazanin Shahrokni in conversation with the author Rose Wellman

Watch the conversation.

Since Iran's 1979 Revolution, the imperative to create and protect the inner…

Social Histories of Iran: Modernism and Marginality in the Middle East
Wed, Oct 6, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Milad Odabaei in conversation with Stephanie Cronin

Watch the conversation.

Histories of Iran, as of the wider Middle East, have been dominated by the twin narratives…

Iran in Motion: Mobility, Space and the Trans-Iranian Railway
Wed, Sep 29, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Peyman Jafari in conversation with the author Mikiya Koyagi

Watch the conversation.

Completed in 1938, the Trans-Iranian Railway connected Tehran to Iran's two…

The Fall of Reza Shah: The Abdication, Exile and Death of Modern Iran's Founder
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Naveed Mansoori in conversation with the author Shaul Bakhash

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In his latest book, Prof. Shaul Bakhash…

Celebrating Ahmad Ashraf: Lifetime Contribution to Iranian Studies
Wed, Sep 15, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

One of the most influential scholars of social history and historical sociology of modern Iran, Dr. Ahmad Ashraf has left an inimitable mark on the field of Iranian studies. For more than half-a-century, Dr. Ashraf has produced a body of work that will remain at the center of conversations about the emergence of capitalism, rural…

Meet the New Fellows
Wed, Sep 8, 2021, 12:00 pm1:00 pm

Watch the conversation.

Labor, Revolution, and the State: Iranian Experiences in a Global Perspective
Wed, Apr 28, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Peyman Jafari discusses his chapter in Worlds of Labour Turned Upside Down, a recent volume he has coedited with Pepijn Brandon and Stefan Müller. The volume offers a bold statement on the importance of labor history for understanding modern revolutions and state formation from a global and comparative perspective.

A Virtual Conversation on Anthropologies of Knowledge in Iran
Wed, Apr 21, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Knowledge, in its different forms and vocabularies, occupies a central place in modern Iran. Discourses of Islamic philosophy, law, and theology, Persian poetry and literary genres, human sciences and social theory, among others, are both foundational to contemporary configurations of Iranian society and are…

Showpiece City: How Architecture Made Dubai
Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Pamela Karimi in conversation with the author Todd Reisz

Watch the conversation.

Showpiece City recounts the story of how a group of hired professionals planned Dubai's…

Virtual Book Launch: A Revolution in Rhyme: Poetic Co-option under the Islamic Republic
Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi in conversation with the author Fatemeh Shams

Watch the conversation.

A Revolution in Rhyme: Poetic Co-option under the…

Iran 1400: Challenges & Prospects
Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi in conversation with Professors Kian, Salehi-Isfahani, and Rahimieh.

Watch the conversation.

The year 1400 marks the beginning of the 15th…

Book Talk Webinar: Political Repression in Bahrain
Wed, Mar 10, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Staci Strobl in conversation with  Marc Owen Jones

Watch the conversation.

Exploring Bahrain's modern history through the lens of repression, this concise and…

Virtual Book Launch: Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Fahad Ahmad Bishra in Conversation with Rosie Bsheer

To register for this webinar:…

Book Talk Webinar: Women in Place: The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran
Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Rachel Rinaldo in conversation with the author Nazanin Shahrokni

Watch the conversation.

The Eastbound Iran?
Wed, Feb 17, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Roundtable discussion on Iran's expanding relationship with Russia, China and India.

Watch the conversation.

Biden & Iran
Wed, Feb 3, 2021, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

A roundtable discussion on the [near] future of U.S. -Iran relations, moderated by Center Director, Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi.

Watch the conversation.

In Character: A Conversation with Iranian American Artist Pouya Afshar
Wed, Dec 2, 2020

In this virtual conversation held in honor of the forthcoming publication of In Character, Pouya Afshar: Selected Works 2010-2020 (Advocartsy 2021) co-hosts Amy Malek (Center Postdoctoral Research Associate) and Arash Davari (Center Visiting Scholar) moderate a discussion between Iranian American…

Book Launch: Robert Vitalis' "Oilcraft: The Myths of Scarcity and Security That Haunt U.S. Energy Policy"
Wed, Nov 25, 2020

A Conversation with Prof. Robert Vitalis.

Watch the conversation.

Robert Vitalis is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier (Stanford, 2007), named one of the…

Book Launch: Niloofar Haeri's "Say What Your Longing Heart Desires: Women, Prayer and Poetry in Iran"
Wed, Nov 18, 2020

A Conversation with Prof. Niloofar Haeri.

Niloofar Haeri is a Professor of Anthropology and the Program Chair for Islamic Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of Say What Your Longing Heart Desires: Women, Prayer, and Poetry in Iran (Stanford University Press, 2020).

Watch the …

Iranian WomXn in Music- A Two-Day Symposium (CANCELED)
Sat, Nov 7, 2020, 12:00 pm12:00 pm

Day 1: Saturday, November 7 at 12:00 PM EST
(8:30 PM in Iran, 5:00 PM GMT)
Gender issues in the post-revolutionary music scene in Iran (IN PERSIAN)

Day 2: Sunday, November 8 at 12:00 PM EST
(8:30 PM in Iran, 5:00 PM GMT)
Iranian Women in the Western classical…

Book Launch: Eric Lob's "Iran's Reconstruction Jihad: Rural Development and Regime Consolidation after 1979"
Wed, Nov 4, 2020

A conversation with Prof. Eric Lob.

Eric Lob is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University.

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Book Launch: Paola Rivetti's "Political Participation in Iran from Khatami to the Green Movement"
Tue, Oct 27, 2020

A conversation with Prof. Paola Rivetti.

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Rivetti is an Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at Dublin City University in Ireland. She was awarded the 2018 Early-Career Researcher of the Year Prize by the Irish…

Book Launch: Mana Kia's "Persianate Selves: Memories of Place and Origin Before Nationalism"
Wed, Oct 21, 2020

A conversation with Prof. Mana Kia and Prof. Purnima Dhavan

Watch the conversation.

Dr. Mana Kia is an Associate Professor at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. She is a scholar of early…

Filmmaking in a Foreign Land: A Conversation with Prof. Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
Wed, Oct 14, 2020

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh is a filmmaker, a writer and an educator. She is currently an assistant professor of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa. She received her BFA in film from Tehran University of Art and her MFA in studio arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  

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Book Launch: Manata Hashemi's "Coming of Age in Iran: Poverty and the Struggle for Dignity"
Wed, Oct 7, 2020

A conversation with Prof. Manata Hashemi

Manata Hashemi is a sociologist and the Farzaneh Family Assistant Professor of Iranian Studies in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Watch the conversation.

Book Launch: Arzoo Osanloo's "Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victims' Rights in Iran"
Wed, Sep 30, 2020

A Conversation with Prof. Arzoo Osanloo

Arzoo Osanloo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Law, Societies, and Justice and the Director of the University of the Washington Middle East Center.

Watch the conversation.

Book description: Iran’s…

Book Launch: Sima Shakhsari's "Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan"
Wed, Sep 23, 2020

A Conversation with Prof. Sima Shakhsari

Sima Shakhsari is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexualities Studies at the University of Minnesota. 

Watch the Conversation.

Book Launch: Laleh Khalili's "Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula"
Wed, Sep 16, 2020

A conversation with Laleh Khalili

Laleh Khalili is a Professor of International Politics at the Queen Mary University of London.

Watch the conversation.

Meet our New Postdoctoral Research Associates
Wed, Sep 9, 2020

A conversation with Dr. Maryam Alemzadeh and Dr. Milad Odabaei

Watch the conversation

Book Launch:"How Coal Made the Middle East and Spread Global Carbonization"
Fri, Jun 5, 2020

A Conversation with Prof. On Barak.

On Barak is a senior lecturer at the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. He was a member of the Princeton Society of Fellows and a lecturer at the history department at Princeton University from 2009 to 2012.

"Writing Revolutions: History and Theory between Ethiopia and Iran"
Fri, May 29, 2020

"A conversation with Elleni Centime Zeleke and Eskandar Sadegi-Boroujerdi, regarding their recently published monographs (Ethiopia in Theory: Revolution and Knowledge Production, 1964-2016 and Revolution and its Discontents: Political Thought and Reform in Iran).

Elleni Centime Zeleke is Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle…