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Saeed Zeydabadi-Nejad


Academic Profile

Since 2004 Zeydabadi-Nejad has designed, taught and examined a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on film, media and cultural Studies at SOAS (University of London), at the Institute of Ismaili Studies as part of a joint MA programme with UCL (Institute Of Education) and at the University of Roehampton. These include modules such as ‘Iranian cinema’, ‘World cinema’, ‘Iranian media and film’, ‘Communication, Culture and Politics in the Middle East’, ‘Transnational media and diasporic communities’, ‘Cultural Encounters, Material Culture and Narratives’, and ‘Islam and the media’. In the same institutions, he has also acquired expertise in supervising students at undergraduate, taught masters and PhD level.

His research interests and activities span different genres, authors, methodologies and theoretical frameworks. Although his publications are broadly on Iranian cinema and media, they demonstrate expertise in areas as varied as film theory, cinema audiences, national cinemas, cultural studies, anthropology and Middle Eastern studies. His publications include works such as the Routledge monograph The Politics of Iranian Cinema (2010).

Zeydabadi-Nejad has developed several successful research and public engagement collaborations with colleagues inside and outside his host institutions. For example, he organized and secured funding for a series of events around the works of the renowned Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad in 2008. For that project, he collaborated with the cultural institutions British Film Institute (BFI), the Iran Heritage Foundation, as well as the charitable organisation ‘Insight Education’. The programme included an academic conference with a keynote speech from Professor Laura Mulvey, a week-long filmmaking masterclass at SOAS by the filmmaker, screening of her complete works at the BFI, and, finally, Zeydabadi-Nejad’s teaching of a short course at the BFI. The filmmaker subsequently received an honorary degree from SOAS on his recommendation for nomination.

He completed a PhD in media studies at University of London (SOAS) in 2006 and studied anthropology in Australia at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, graduating in 2000.

He organizes and chairs film screenings for the Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS.

Sample Publications


  • Politics of Iranian Cinema: Films and Society in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Monograph published by Routledge (2009)


Edited journals, book chapters and journal articles:

  • “Multilinguality, and Iranian Cinema”, in IRAN, the Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies (Forthcoming 2019)
  • “Islam and Images”, Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, Guest Editor (Special Issue, March 2018).
  •  “Imagining homeland from a distance: new diasporic visions of Iran” in Special issue entitled, “Iranian cinema” Middle East in London, Co-editor. (February 2019)
  • Special issue entitled, “Iranian cinema: new directions in research” Middle East in London, Co-editor. (Special issue, February 2019)
  •  “Watching the forbidden: reception of banned films in Iran” in Hagener, M., Hediger, V. and Strohmaier, A. (Eds.) The State of Post-Cinema:  Tracing the Moving Image in the Age of Digital Dissemination, Palgrave Macmillan (2016)
  • “Political film” in Jahed, P. (ed.) Directory of World Cinema: Iran 2, Intellect Ltd (2016).
    • “The White Balloon”, The Cinema of Childhood,  (2015)
    •  “Beyond Gender: Women Filmmakers and Socio-political Critique” (book chapter) in Sreberny, A. (ed.) Cultural Revolution in Iran: Contemporary Popular Culture in the Islamic Republic; I.B.Tauris (2014).
  •  “Madness, Resistance and Iranian Cinema” (book chapter) in Laachir, K. and Talajooy S. (ed.) Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Cultures: Literature, Cinema and Music; Routledge (2013).
  • “Iranian Intellectuals and Contact with the West” in The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies Vol. 34 No. 3 (December 2007). 

Current Position

Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS, University of London