Cinema Iranica:
Editorial Board

Kaveh Askari

Kaveh Askari is an associate professor of film studies at Michigan State University. His research and teaching focus on cinema and media history in a global context. Special areas of interest include art cinema, media circulation, film and other arts, and cinemas of the Middle East. He is the author of Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood (BFI, 2014), editor of a special issue of Early Popular Visual Culture on the Middle East and North Africa (2008), and coeditor of Performing New Media, 1890-1915 (John Libbey, 2014). He is currently working on a book titled “Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran: Prestige Cinema and the Archive of Hollywood.” Askari has served on the executive committee for Domitor, the International Society of Early Cinema Studies; on the jury for the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival; as cochair of the host committee for the Seattle Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference; and as cochair of the SCMS Middle East Caucus. In 2017, Askari collaborated on a film program for Il Cinema Ritrovato, Tehran Noir: The Films of Samuel Khachikian, which showcased unseen films from the National Film Archive of Iran’s collection of genre films made before the 1979 revolution.

Blake Atwood

Blake Atwood is a media historian at the American University of Beirut. His research and teaching focus on the intersection of technology, culture, and politics in the Middle East. Increasingly drawn to media as material objects, he is currently working on a book manuscript about videocassettes in Iran. Atwood is the author of Reform Cinema in Iran: Film and Political Change in the Islamic Republic (Columbia University Press, 2016). He has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the coeditor, with Peter Decherney, of Iranian Cinema in a Global Context: Policy, Politics, and Form (Routledge, 2014).

Laura Fish

Currently a publishing fellow at the University of Texas Press, Laura Fish completed her 2019 PhD dissertation, “Arisen from the Grave: Collecting and Distributing Mid-Century Iranian Popular Cinema,” in Middle Eastern languages and cultures at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of, among others, “Remixing Vulgarity: Reinterpreting the Legacy of Popular Iranian Cinema” in The Velvet Light Trap (2020), and “The Bombay Interlude: Parsi Transnational Aspirations in the First Persian Sound Film” in Transnational Cinemas Journal (2019).

Maryam Ghorbankarimi

A lecturer in film practice at Lancaster University, Maryam Ghorbankarimi is a filmmaker and film scholar. Born and raised in Tehran, she moved to Canada in 2001 to continue her education in film at Toronto’s Ryerson University. She completed her PhD in film studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2012, and her dissertation was published as a book entitled A Colourful Presence: The Evolution of Women’s Representation in Iranian Cinema (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015). She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has developed new practice-based modules in film at Lancaster University.

Roshanak Kheshti

Roshanak Kheshti is an associate professor of ethnic studies and affiliate faculty in the Critical Gender Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego. Her first book, Modernity’s Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music (New York University Press, 2015), is an examination of the form of listening promoted by the US world music culture industry through which the modern listening subject is produced. Her research broadly centers on the consumption of race, gender, and sexuality through sound and film. Her scholarship has appeared in the Radical History Review, American Quarterly, Anthropology News, Parallax, Feminist Studies, GLQ, Theater Survey, and Sounding Out! She is the author of, among others, “Cross-Dressing and Gender (Tres)Passing: The Transgender Move as a Site of Agential Potential in the New Iranian Cinema” in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy (2009).

Michelle Langford

Michelle Langford is a senior lecturer in film studies at UNSW Sydney. Her core research and publication activities are driven by her longstanding interest in the cinemas of Germany and Iran. These vastly different national cinemas are closely connected through her theorization of allegorical processes in film combined with a close attention to the impact of socio-political and historical contexts on the development of film style. Her current research focuses primarily on Iranian cinema, which allows her to extend and expand her theorization of allegorical cinema into an area of national cinema studies that is both contemporary and dynamic. Langford’s most recent research project looks at the German films of the Iranian Filmmaker Sohrab Shahid Saless. Her newest book is Allegory in Iranian Cinema: The Aesthetics of Poetry and Resistance (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari

Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari received his PhD in linguistics from Allameh Tabatabaee University in Tehran, and is currently an associate professor and head of the Department of Performing Arts at the University of Tehran. His major fields of interest are Iranian linguistics and dialectology, teaching Persian as a foreign language, Iranian dramatic literature, and the discourse analysis of drama. He has published extensively in these fields and has also contributed to major reference works such as Encyclopaedia Iranica, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (Elsevier Science), Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE (Brill), and The Great Islamic Encyclopedia.

Nacim Pak-Shiraz

Nacim Pak-Shiraz is the head of the department and a senior lecturer in Persian and film studies at the University of Edinburgh. She completed a postgraduate program in Islamic studies and humanities, followed by an MA in the anthropology of media, and a PhD in film and media at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Pak-Shiraz is also active on the cultural scene and engages with international film festivals both within and outside the United Kingdom. She has curated three film festivals for the Edinburgh Iranian Festival, and organized and led workshops and panels at the Fajr International Film Festival (Tehran), Eskisehir International Film Festival (Turkey), and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Pedram Partovi

Pedram Partovi, an associate professor of history at American University, is a historian of the medieval and modern Muslim world. His current research focuses on the history of youth movements and their role in creating and disrupting the political order in Iran and the wider Middle East. This project springs from his earlier work on popular Iranian cinema, which in its depictions of male heroism problematized the efforts of state agents to eliminate or coopt in the name of modern “progress” the often informal youth associations that had long organized urban public life. In studying these “reckless” youths on the margins of law and order, he challenges assumptions about the supremacy of the “state” that have characterized much of social scientific writing on the modernization of politics and society in the Middle East. Partovi earned his doctorate with honors from the University of Chicago. He previously held a visiting professor position in the Center for Global Islamic Studies at Lehigh University and taught courses at the University of Michigan, DePaul University, and Columbia College. He is the author of Popular Iranian Cinema before the Revolution: Family and Nation in Filmfarsi (Routledge, 2017). He has also published articles in numerous journals including the Journal of Persianate Studies, Visual Anthropology Review, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Iranian Studies, and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Mehrnaz Saeedvafa

Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa has an MFA in film from University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been teaching as a full-time faculty member in cinema and television arts at Columbia College since 1989. Her areas of expertise are cinema studies (international, Middle Eastern, Iranian, Exilic, and women, gender, and race in cinema), documentary film theory and production, and alternative forms. She has lectured and written extensively on Iranian cinema. Her book on Abbas Kiarostami, co-written with Jonathan Rosenbaum, was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2003 (revised edition 2018). She is an award-winning filmmaker. Her films A Tajik Woman, Saless Far from Home, and Ruins Within have been shown in many international film festivals. Her short film A Different Moon was shown in several European film festivals in 2009 and picked up for distribution by European Spiritual Film Festival in France. Her latest award-winning film, Jerry & Me, which has also been screened in several domestic and international film festivals, has been picked up by Arab Film Distribution/Type Cast Film. She is currently working on a documentary about a house in Florence, Alabama, that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. She has been the artistic consultant of the Festival of Films from Iran at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago since 1989.

Sara Saljoughi

Sara Saljoughi is an assistant professor in English at the University of Toronto. Her areas of research are world cinema, film theory, critical theory, and postcolonial studies. She is currently working on a book manuscript, “Burning Visions: The Counter-Cinema of the Iranian New Wave,” the first study focused exclusively on experimental and art cinema in Iran in the 1960s and 1970s. By focusing on this period, she argues that it is necessary to reevaluate the Iranian New Wave as a counter-cinema movement that sought to interrogate notions of collectivity. Through an engagement with diverse Iranian art forms (such as poetry and miniature painting), the New Wave established itself as an alternative national project in opposition to the cinema of imperialism (Hollywood), the domestic commercial cinema known as filmfarsi, and the modernizing nationalism of the Pahlavi regime. Her articles and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Camera Obscura, Iranian Studies, Film International, Discourse, Film Criticism, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Jadaliyya. She has also published in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women (2013) and The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies (Blackwell, 2016). Her second book project is a study of statelessness and cinema, which will examine cinemas of stateless peoples as well as questions of universality, style, and film language.

Saeed Talajooy

Saeed Talajooy is a lecturer at the University of St. Andrews. His current research focuses on the point of convergence between literary, performance, and film studies and on the reflections of the changing patterns of Iranian identity in Persian literature and Iranian theater and cinema. It involves studying the way Iranian playwrights and filmmakers refashion Indigenous dramatic forms, modes of thought, myths, history, and classical literary works to recreate their ideal images of Iranian identity, or the way they adapt non-Iranian novels and plays for the Iranian stage and screen. It reflects on technical, thematic, and intercultural adaptation as a way of promoting or resisting dominant cultural discourses. Another aspect of his research involves comparative studies of cultural resistance in African and Middle Eastern drama. He has taught world drama in English and English language, literature, and drama in Iran, and Persian language and literature, Iranian cinema, and postcolonial and comparative literature in the United Kingdom. Currently, he is working on a monograph entitled “Modernity and Iranian Drama: Plays and Playwrights,” a collection of five Iranian plays in English and his essays on Iranian theater. His teaching includes convening honors and postgraduate modules for advanced Persian language, modern and classical Persian literature, and Iranian cinema and theater as well as comparative literature.

Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad

Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad is a research associate at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). His publications have focused on Iranian cinema and media. His monograph, The Politics of Iranian Cinema: Film and Society in the Islamic Republic (Routledge, 2010), is groundbreaking in its ethnographic engagement with the question of media audiences in Iran. He has engaged with various research methodologies, from ethnography to digital ethnography and big data. Zeydabadi-Nejad was a postdoctoral research associate with a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Tuning In: Researching Diasporas at the BBC World Service. His teaching has spanned media and film studies, anthropology, and Islamic studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at SOAS, the Institute of Ismaili Studies (University College London), and Roehampton University. His media appearances include BBC World Service (radio and TV), BBC Radios 3 and 4, Iran International (United Kingdom), and VoA TV (United States). He has worked as a consultant on projects with Ipsos MORI and Iran International (United Kingdom). Zeydabadi-Nejad is the associate editor of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.