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Bilingual Lecture Series: Rethinking Gender, Ethnicity and Religion in Iran

December 4, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rethinking Gender, Ethnicity and Religion in Iran

Rethinking Gender, Ethnicity and Religion in Iran: An Intersectional Approach to National Identity by Azadeh Kian examines the crucial shifts that affected Sunnite and subaltern women once Shi’ism became the state religion after the Iranian Revolution. Focusing on women in the Baluchistan and Golestan provinces of Iran, Kian analyses and explores issues of cultural racialization, ethno-centrism, Shi’a centrism, and patriarchal and chauvinistic ideologies in Iranian society propagated by the state and sustained by its policies. Based on quantitative and qualitative surveys taken throughout Iran, comprised of over 7,000 married women and 100 interviews with a sample of Sunnite and subaltern Persian women, Kian reveals how social hierarchy and power relations based on gender, class, ethnicity and religion operate. She argues that women have been at the heart of the process of national and ethnic re-construction as women, as potential mothers, are expected to reproduce national and ethnic boundaries. Kian also examines the family institution as a site of power, and argues that by analyzing family dynamics as well as women’s everyday lives, the politics of ordinary Iranians and the relationship between state and society can be better understood.

About the Speaker

Azadeh Kian is an Iranian-French academic, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Gender and Feminist Studies and former Director of the Social Science department at the University Paris Cité. She obtained her Master and PhD in Sociology from UCLA. Notable works include Rethinking Gender, Ethnicity and Religion in Iran: An Intersectional Approach to National Identity, (2023), Femmes et pouvoir en islam (2019), L’Iran: un mouvement sans révolution? La vague verte face au pouvoir mercanto-militariste (2011), La République islamique d’Iran: de la maison du Guide à la raison d’Etat (2005, translated into Greek 2006), Les femmes iraniennes entre islam, Etat et famille (2002), Avoir vingt ans en Iran Editions Alternatives (1999), and Secularization of Iran, a Doomed Failure? The New Middle Class and the Making of Modern Iran (1998).

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December 4, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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