Claudia Yaghoobi is a Roshan Institute Associate Professor in Persian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2013. She is the author of Temporary Marriage in Iran: Gender and Body Politics in Modern Iranian Literature and Film (Cambridge UP, 2020) and Subjectivity in ‘Attar, Persian Sufism, and European Mysticism (Purdue UP, 2017). She is also the co-editor (with Janet Afary) of a book series titled, Sex, Marriage, and Family in the Middle East for IB Tauris/Bloomsbury Press. As an Iranian-Armenian-American, Yaghoobi’s research concerns the literature and culture of the Middle East with a special focus on the members of sexual, ethnic, and religious minority populations, ones marginalized by normative society. Her work addresses the embodiments of liminality through which authors, artists, directors challenge and critique social hegemonies. Her first monograph, Subjectivity in ‘Attar, Persian Sufism, and European Mysticism reassesses the significance of the concept of transgression and construction of subjectivity within select works of the medieval Persian Sufi poet Farid al-Din ‘Attar Nishapuri (1145-1221). She traces the intersections of transgression, law, inclusion and exclusion, self and the other, in ʿAttar’s treatment of class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Her second monograph, Temporary Marriage in Iran: Gender and Body Politics in Modern Persian Literature and Film examines the representation of sigheh (temporary marriage) in modern Iranian cultural productions. However, the book moves beyond the literary and cinematic realms and examines in-depth a rather controversial social institution which has been the subject of disdain for many Iranian feminists and captured the imagination of many Western observers. Her third book project is tentatively titled Multiple Consciousness: Transnationalism in Iranian Armenian Cultural Productions. This project examines the various creative ways that Iranian Armenian authors and artists, as members of religious, ethnic, and cultural minoritized populations of Iran and later in the U.S., craft and negotiate a sense of identity, which is at odds with the wish to be integrated into mainstream society while maintaining ties with the homeland (Iran and Armenia).
My teaching and research focus on minoritized and underrepresented populations, and my service is informed by working towards action, founded on the qualities of equitability, justness, awareness of structural biases, and resilience. I strive to be understanding of historical and intergenerational hardships, as well as the personal and individual challenges of those around me. AIS’s commitment to academic freedom, diversity and inclusion, and transnationalism appeal to me and are areas that I believe I can contribute to. As an AIS council member, I will aspire to be a facilitator, who looks beyond a system of gains and losses forward to teamwork across differences. My mission vision is a legacy of love, compassion, and service – one that takes into account the lived experiences and mental, emotional, and somatic responses of everyone in order to engage with opening “gates” for diverse opportunities.