This panel explores the understudied relation and interconnection between gender, sexuality and urban space in the context of Tehran’s historical development over the last 150 years. It applies cutting edge theories from the social sciences, historical research and critical approaches to gender in order to analyze how the public, private and interstitial spaces of the city, in their planning, use, understanding and fabric, have created, reinforced, reflected and challenged public gender relations, morals and sexuality.
As social constructs, gender and space are produced daily by myriads of interactions, practices and ideological interpretations, and it is the aim of this panel to address these in terms of social and material relations, which leave an imprint on urban forms and urban processes. “To think about gender and sexuality in the city”, the urban sociologist Fran Tonkiss proposes, “is to think about the interaction of spatial practice, social difference and symbolic associations in urban contexts”. This panel addresses interrelated topics such as masculinity, homosexuality and heteronormativity, prostitution and state policy, harems and segregation as well as dating and single women. Thus, the panel will bring to light new studies of the contentious politics of gender and space in Tehran from the late 19th century to the present day.