Feminist Revolution in Iran: Year One
Feminists for Jina-NYC invites you to an evening of reflection on the first year of an unfolding feminist revolution in Iran. Triggered by the September 16, 2022 murder in police custody of a young Iranian Kurdish woman, Jina (Mahsa) Amini, a multiethnic uprising led by young women and girls quickly swept across Iran, gaining widespread support from many men. For the first time, explicitly feminist demands for women’s bodily autonomy from the state and for gender and sexual equality in all aspects of life was at the center of a movement that called for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. Marginalized ethnic and religious populations, as well as queer and trans Iranians, have been at the forefront of this uprising. The Iranian state has responded with tremendous brutality, killing hundreds of protesters in the streets, arresting thousands, torturing prisoners, and carrying out official executions. Yet, the protests, reflecting broader social and cultural transformations, continue in different forms, including in daily acts of mass civil disobedience in which women refuse to wear mandatory hijab.
Please join us for a wide-ranging discussion with Bahareh Badaei, Kiana Karimi, N. of the Begoo Collective, and Fatemeh Shams, moderated by Manijeh Moradian. These activists, scholars and artists have been involved in building transnational feminist solidarity and who will talk about the impact of the women, life, freedom (jin, jiyan, azadi) movement on Iranian society, on the Iranian diaspora, and on their own lives.
About the Speakers
Dr. Fatemeh Shams is associate professor of Persian literature at University of Pennsylvania.. She earned her Ph.D in Middle Eastern Srudies from University of Oxford, Wadham College. Before joining Penn, she has taught Persian language and literature in various academic institutions including University of Oxford, University of SOAS and Courtauld Institute of Art in the United Kingdom.
Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of literature, politics, and society. Fatemeh’s first critical monograph, A Revolution in Rhyme: Poetic Co-option Under the Islamic Republic (Oxford University Press, 2021) is a comprehensive study of the evolution of poetry and patronage in the Persian literary tradition and the representation and transformation of this relationship in modern Iran. It also explores the role of state-sponsored literary institutions and the ideological state apparatus in promoting state-sponsored literature in the post-revolutionary Iran. Shams is currently the Humboldt Foundation-EUME fellow hosted by Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin in 2021-2024 to work her second book project on the work and life of exiled Iranian poets.
Fatemeh is also an internationally acclaimed, award-winning poet and has so far published three collections of poetry in Persian and English. Her first collection, 88 (Berlin: Gardoon, 2012), won the Jaleh Esfahani Poetry Award in London, UK. Her third bilingual collection, When They Broke Down the Door (Washington: Mage Publisher, 2015), translated by the world-famous British literary scholar, translator and poet, Dick Davis, won Latifeh Yarshater Book Award in 2016. Her poetry and her translations have been so far featured in the World Literature Today, Michigan Quarterly Review, Life and Legends, Poetry Foundation, Jacket 2, Penn Sound and more. The upcoming Penguin Anthology of 1000 Years of Poetry by Persian Women Poets translated by Dick Davis (2021) has featured several of her poems.
Aside her academic and literary activities, Fatemeh has been an outspoken feminist activist during the fifteen years that she has lived in exile since the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election and the Green Movement.
N. of the Begoo Collective
A collective of Iranian feminists inside and outside of Iran, Begoo Collective is invested in cultivating a transnational dialogue, particularly among the people of the Global South, in solidarity with the uprising of the Iranian people, especially Womxn, the LGBTQ+, and all marginalized communities. Centering JIN JÎYAN AZADÎ (Woman, Life, Freedom) and in a fight against systemic historical erasure, through a feminist, anti-colonial, and transnational lens. Begoo Collective strives to amplify the Iranian people’s acts of bravery and resistance and to archive the violence and oppression their bodies continue to endure.
Manijeh Moradian is assistant professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her book, This Flame Within: Iranian Revolutionaries in the United States, was published by Duke University Press in December 2022. She has published widely including in American Quarterly, Journal of Asian American Studies, The Scholar & Feminist Online, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. She is a founding member of the Raha Iranian Feminist Collective and on the editorial board of the Jadaliyya.com Iran Page. She is a member of Feminists for Jina, a global network which formed in fall 2022 to support the women, life, freedom uprising in Iran.
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College.
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This is an in-person event, free and open to all. Please review our COVID safety guidelines. Registration is preferred.