Welcome to the AIS online election page. You are voting for THREE REGULAR MEMBERS from a list of 6 nominations and TWO STUDENT MEMBERS from a list of 4 nominations for the AIS board/council. Please read the bios of nominees and cast your ballot at the end of the page. ONLINE VOTING WILL CLOSE AT 12 AM STANDARD TIME ON NOVEMBER 16, 2009.
Log in with your AIS membership account information using the login panel on the right. You cannot vote unless you are logged in.
Read the bios of the nominees below by clicking on each nominee's name.
Follow the links at the end of the page to cast your ballot. There are 2 links, one for regular board member ballot and another for student board member ballot. Please make sure to click on BOTH links and cast your vote for both ballots.
Please Note: The polls are now closed.
Regular board member nominations
1. Touraj Atabaki
is Professor of Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia at the University of Leiden and Senior Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social History. He is the author of Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran (London: I.B. Tauris, 1993), and of Beyond Essentialism. Who writes whose Past in the Middle East and Central Asia? (Amsterdam: Aksant, 2003), editor of Post-Soviet Central Asia (London: I.B. Tauris, 1998), co-editor, with Erik Jan Zürcher, of Men of Order, Authoritarian Modernisation in Turkey and Iran(London: I.B. Tauris, 2004) and co-editor, with Sanjyot Mehendale, of Central Asia and the Caucasus: Transnationalism and Diaspora (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), Iran and the First World War: Battleground of the Great Powers (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006), The State and the subaltern:Society and Politics in Turkey and Iran (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007) and Iran in the Twentieth Century. Historiography and Political Culture (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009). His current work focuses on labor history of Iran and comparative historiography of Iran and Central Asia since the nineteenth century. He has served on the editorial board of Iranian Studies, the Journal of Central Asian Survey, International Journal of Azerbaijani Studies and the Association for Iranian Studies.
2. Oliver Bast
(Dr. phil., Maître-ès-Lettres) is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Persian Studies and Modern Middle Eastern History. He is the Head of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Manchester’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures. Bast holds a joint doctorate (thèse en co-tutelle) from the universities of Paris III and Bamberg. His research interests include the diplomatic and political history of Qajar and early Pahlavi Iran as well as questions of historiography and cultural memory in modern Iran. He is the author of Les allemands en Perse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: Peeters, 1997) and editor of La Perse et la Grande Guerre (Tehran/Paris: IFRI/Peeters, 2002). Other publications include writings on German-Iranian relations and articles on aspects of the diplomatic and political history of Qajar Iran, the most recent being “Disintegrating the ‘discourse of disintegration’: Some reflections on the historiography of the late Qajar period and Iranian cultural memory”, in Atabaki, Touraj (ed.) Iran in the Twentieth Century: Historiography and Political Culture (London: I.B. Tauris, 2009). Bast serves on the Council of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) and in July 2009 organised the 2009 Annual Conference of BRISMES at the University of Manchester. In January 2009, he co-organised the 10th Workshop of the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) at the University of Manchester. In June 2006, Bast was co-organiser of the 6th Conference of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA) in Paris acting on behalf of the CNRS’s Unité mixte de recherché Mondes Iranien et Indien, to which Bast is attached as a chercheur associé. Between 1995 and 1997, Bast worked as anallocataire de recherche at the Institut Français de Recherche en Iran (IFRI) in Tehran, where in March 1997, he organised an international conference on Iran and World War I, which was held as a joint venture of IFRI and the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS).
3. Amy Motlagh
is Assistant Professor of World Literature and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the American University in Cairo. She is also an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies at AUC, a member of the Magda Al-Nowaihi Memorial Award Committee, and chair of the Madalyn Lamont Award in Creative Writing. Motlagh received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. Her dissertation, Married to Modernity: Gender, Fiction, and Reform in Twentieth-Century Iran, received Princeton University’s T. Cuyler Iranian Studies Prize in 2009. She also holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University and a B.A. in English Literature from Pomona College. Her scholarly publications include the monograph Where the Bodies Are Buried: Realism, Fiction and Reform in Iran (manuscript in progress), “The Irreconcilable ‘I’s’ in the Writings of the Iranian Diaspora” (forthcoming in The Iranian Revolution 30 Years After, ed. by Negin Nabavi), and “Toward a Theory of Iranian American Life Writing,” Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States, Vol. 33, No. 2, 17-36. Her literary publications include “A Souvenir of Tehran” in Transit: Tehran (Garnet Press 2008), “En Route to Persepolis,” “Passover,” and “Naderi” in Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writings by Women of the Iranian Diaspora (University of Arkansas Press, 2006), and The Litany of Farewells (Award chapbook published by the National Association of State Poetry Societies, 1997).
4. Cyrus Schayegh
received his Ph.D. from Columbia University (MEALAC) in 2004. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Tehran Institute for Management and Planning Studies (2004-5), then assumed an assistant professorship at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Since 2008, he is an assistant professor at the Department for Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, where he teaches modern Middle Eastern history. His dissertation, which received the Award for the best dissertation in the field of Iranian Studies (2004), has been published as Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong. Science, Class, and the Formation of Modern Iranian Society, 1900-1950 (University of California Press, 2009). It tells two intertwined stories: how, in early twentieth-century Iran, an emerging middle class used modern scientific knowledge as its cultural and economic capital, and how, along with the state, it employed biomedical sciences to tackle presumably modern problems like the increasing stress of everyday life or people’s defective willpower. Schayegh has also published articles in Critique, History Compass, IJMES, Iranian Studies, the Journal for Comparative Studies in Society and History, JUSUR, the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. He is currently working on two projects. One seeks to re-think the Mandate Levant as a whole as an area formed by interactions between new states and cross-border movements of goods and people; the other examines the interplay between the Cold War, modernization, and new forms of governing in early post-World War II Iran. Schayegh has organized panels at various MESA annual conferences and been an Iranian Studies review editor since 2006.
5. Kamran Talattof
is the professor of Persian language and literature and Iranian culture at the University of Arizona and the coordinator of the Persian and Iranian studies program. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of The Politics of Writing in Iran: A History of Modern Persian Literature (Syracuse University Press, 2000); Modern Persian: Spoken and Written with D. Stilo and J. Clinton (Yale University Press, 2005); Essays on Nima Yushij: Animating Modernism in Persian Poetry with A. Karimi-Hakkak (Brill, 2004); The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric with J. Clinton (Palgrave, 2000); and Contemporary Debates in Islam: An Anthology of Modernist and Fundamentalist Thought with M. Moaddel (St. Martin Press, 2000). He is the co-translator of Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men, with J. Sharlet (Syracuse University Press, 1998) and Touba: The Meaning of the Night by Shahrnush Parsipur, with H. Houshmand (Feminist Press, 2006). His articles also often focus on issues of gender, ideology, cinema, culture, and language pedagogy. His forthcoming books include Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran: The Life and Legacy of Popular Iranian Female Artists (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2010) and Modern Persian: Spoken and Written (volumes 3-6). Kamran Talattof has also served as the SIS Newsletter editor, book review editor of the Journal of Iranian Studies and has been a member of a number of MESA and AIS committees such as review, nomination, and election committees. He has organized several scholarly panels for MESA, AIS, and MLA conferences, and has given talks on numerous campuses in several different countries.
6. Dalia Yasharpour
since 2006, has headed Harvard University’s modern Persian program in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. She served as a member of Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies fellowship committee and the NELC and Dalia Yasharpour CMES student admissions committees. She was awarded Harvard’s Consortium for Language Teaching Grant and Learning and the Presidential Instructional Technology Grant. Prior to coming to Harvard, she taught Persian language at Santa Monica City College and courses at the University of California, Los Angeles including, “Intellectual Development of the Jews of Persia.” Dalia Yasharpour received her doctoral degree in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. Dr. Yasharpour has contributed several articles to the forthcomingEncyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World to be published by Brill this year. She has authored a forthcoming article for the online Encyclopaedia Iranica. She was a contributing editor of Mehdi Marashi’s three volume textbook, Proficiency in Persian, as well as his soon to be published new edition of Persian Handwriting. She worked with Wheeler Thackston on the new edition of his textbook, Introduction to Persian. She is a lifetime member of the Oxford Union Society and the J. William Fulbright Association. In addition to AIS, she is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Persian and the American Comparative Literature Association. A specialist in Judeo-Persian Studies, Dr. Yasharpour’s research interests include comparative studies in epic narratives, Judeo-Persian didactic verse and comparative Jewish liturgy. Her current project is a book co-authored with a Chinese colleague on the Passover Rite of the Kaifeng, Chinese community. Judeo-Persian in the Kaifeng Haggadah reflects commercial and cultural contact over centuries between the peoples of Persia and China.
Student board member nominations
1. Philip Grant
is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He has an M.A. in Political Sociology from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris, as part of which he carried out fieldwork in Iran, and a B.A. in Modern History from Oxford University. He is currently concluding ethnographic fieldwork with the California branch of the One Million Signatures Campaign, a network of Iranian women’s rights activists founded in Tehran in 2006/1385 to petition for change in laws perceived to discriminate against women, as well as to bring about a change in attitudes and practices pertaining to gender relations in Iranian society both inside and outside Iran. His dissertation analyzes the emergence of a secular ethics in the practices of his interlocutors, and relates this emergent ethics both generally to the history of competing projects of modernization during the past century and a half in Iran, and specifically to the role of gender in all these projects. It explores how contemporary Iranian secularism may be regarded as a more thorough-going in its detranscendentalization of worldly practices than previous efforts, albeit paradoxically made possible by the transformations effected in Iranian society by the Islamic Republic. This process is most visible in the changing gendering of political and civic activism. Additionally the dissertation explores the history of transnational activism in the modern Iranian world, and the role of the ethnographer as collaborator in this activism. He has given papers on these topics, as well as related issues such as translation and intellectuals in Iran, at a variety of professional conferences including the 2008 AIS conference in Toronto and the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association. A portion of his fieldwork was carried out with the assistance of a grant from the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center.
2. Ranin Kazemi
earned his double-major Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history at Middle Tennessee State University. He graduated in 2002 with a Cum Laude notation in the University Honors College. Ranin continued his education at Ohio State University where he concentrated on medieval and early modern Islamic history and wrote a Master of Arts thesis on the eleventh-century Persian historian Abu’l-Fazl Bayhaqi’s philosophical conception of history. He earned his first MA degree in history at Ohio State in 2005. That same year, he entered Yale University and in 2008 he earned his second MA degree in history. Subsequently, he spent a year in the Middle East conducting archival research related to his dissertation. Currently, he is writing his dissertation on a late 19th century movement in Iran and the Ottoman empire. Ranin has received several fellowships and awards, among which are the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships for Arabic and Turkish and Yale University MacMillan Dissertation Research Grant. Ranin organized a panel on the social and cultural history of Iran at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference in 2007. Ranin’s forthcoming publications include book reviews in Journal of the Association for Iranian Studies and International Journal of Middle East Studies. He is a guest editor for an upcoming theme issue of Journal of the Association for Iranian Studies, and has written two chapters in Dennis A. Trinkle and Scott A. Merriman, eds., The History Highway: A 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2005). As a Teaching Assistant at Yale, Ranin has taught on the early modern and modern Middle East and Iran. Ranin grew up in Iran and has lived in Pakistan.
3. Ida Meftahi
is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations with a minor in Drama Studies. Through a multidisciplinary historical exploration of the discourse on dance, Meftahi’s dissertation offers a genealogy of modern Iranian biopolitics by placing the dancing subject at the center of the intense cultural and political contestations that shook twentieth-century Iran. Exploring the emergence of the “rhythmic movement” (harikat-i mawzun) in the 1990s, which sought to endow dance with Islamic ideas of modesty and chastity, she demonstrates that this post revolutionary project successfully sublimated a nationalist conception of dance that had emerged a few decades after the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909. Seeking to cure the illnesses of “mother Iran,” early 20th century nationalists introduced physical education and dance as the essential components of a project directed at the reinvigoration of the national body and the making of healthy and active citizens. Conjoining cultural history and physical education, she explains that the disciplining of the body that was at the core of this national movement prompted the invention of “national dance” (raqs-i milli), a dignified theatrical ballet-based genre of dance that was strictly differentiated from the “evil-inciting” dance of the cabaret. Ida has a Master’s in Dance Studies from York University. She is also a performer and choreographer, and received her dance training from Farzaneh Kaboli, the lead dancer of the National Dance Company of Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution. She has performed widely in both Iran and Canada, and her work has been covered by CBC Television, CBC Radio, the Dance Current and the Toronto Star. Currently Ida is completing a documentary book “Raqs Shinasi.”
4. Leila Pazargadi
is currently a fifth year Ph.D. student at UCLA in the Comparative Literature Department. She Advanced to Candidacy and received her concentration in Women¹s Studies in the spring of 2009. In her research, she focuses on issues of hybridity, immigration, exile and diaspora, especially as they pertain to the social positioning of women. She engages in texts written in English, Persian and French, in order to extend her research to include identity politics in the United States, Britain, France and the Middle East, especially as a part of postcolonial literary study. Her dissertation will discuss the comparative works of Iranian American and Arab American women writers who are publishing autobiographical fiction and nonfiction in a post 9/11 America. She has presented at many academic conferences, namely the 6th and 7th Biannual AIS Conferences in London and Toronto, the 2007 and 2008 American Comparative Literature Association Conferences in Puebla and Long Beach, the Middle Eastern Studies Association 2007 conference in Montreal and was a Plenary speaker at the Sarah Lawrence College Conference on Gender and Power in the Muslim World in March of 2009. In 2004, she graduated with Honors and cum laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles where she received her BA in English and Comparative Literary Studies. Currently, she is Adjunct Faculty at Occidental College in the English and Comparative Literary Studies Department.