Born in France, Michaël Abecassis graduated from the University of St-Andrews. He is a Senior Instructor and a college lecturer at the University of Oxford. He has published widely on French linguistics and cinema and is actually researching on language and symbols of war in Iranian cinema.
Maziar Bahari is an award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist from Iran. His films include “The Voyage of the Saint Louis,” “Targets: Reporters in Iraq,” “Football, Iranian Style,” “Mohammad and the Matchmaker,” “Greetings from Sadr City,” and “Along Came a Spider” for which he received an Emmy nomination in 2005. His films have been shown internationally on television and in film festivals. Since 2003, Maziar has been one of very few journalists who have worked in Iraq covering different parts of the country. Since 1999 Maziar has been the Newsweek correspondent in Iran. In 2005 and 2006 Maziar’s plays “A Fairly Justified Revenge” and “Romance in Abu Ghraib” toured England as part of “1001 Nights Now” show.
Prof.A.Behdad is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA. He has published widely on issues of travel, immigration, Orientalism, and Postcolonialism. Currently, he is working on a book, Contact Visions: “On Photography and Modernity in the Middle East”, which explores the ways in which the Middle East has been represented in photographs by Europeans who travelled to the region during a critical period in the development of photography. In addition to his scholarly undertakings, he has served on the editorial and advisory boards of many journals, the MLA Division on Anthropological Approaches to Literature (2000-2004).
William O. Beeman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He formerly taught at Brown University for more than 30 years where he was Professor of Anthropology; Theatre, Speech and Dance; and Director of Middle East Studies. He is President of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. A linguistic anthropologist, he specializes in discourse analysis and performance studies including political discourse. His research has centered on the Middle East, particularly Iran; Japan, South Asia and Europe, where he performed as an opera singer in Germany. Among his publications are Language, Status and Power in Iran; Culture, Performance and Communication in Iran; The “Great Satan”vs. the “Mad Mullas”: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other; and The Third Line: The Opera Performer as Interpreter, which he wrote with opera stage director, Daniel Helfgot.
Prof. Peter I. Crawford has been an active member of the board of the Nordic Anthropological Film Association (NAFA) since the late 1970s. He has written extensively on visual anthropology and ethnographic film-making. He is a former lecturer of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology (University of Manchester) and has wide experience in teaching the subject both theoretically and practically. He is currently Associate Professor II at the Visual Anthropology Programme at the University of Tromsø, Norway. His publishing company, Intervention Press, has published numerous books on anthropology and visual anthropology, the most recent being Reflecting Visual Ethnography (2006, edited together with Metje Postma).
Ms Ingvild Flaskerud
She studies contemporary Shi'i popular iconography in Iran, focusing on the visual representation of holy personage and sacred narrative, its reception, and the function of images in ritual contexts, including the role of material culture and aesthetics in ritual performance. She has also published on Iranian Shi'i women as ritual performers, and in 2003 she produced an ethnographic film called "Standard bearers of Hussein: Women commemorating Karbala". The film can be viewed as "window" into women's religious lives in todays Iran, but may also invite discussions on ethnographic re-presentation.
M. R. Ghanoonparvar is Professor of Persian and Comparative Literature and Persian Language at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published widely on Persian literature and culture in both English and Persian and is the author of Prophets of Doom: Literature as a Socio-Political Phenomenon in Modern Iran (1984), In a Persian Mirror: Images of the West and Westerners in Iranian Fiction (1993), Translating the Garden (2001), Reading Chubak (2005), and Persian Cuisine:Traditional, Regional and Modern Foods (2006).
Reza Haeri is an Iranian film-maker and producer whose documentary and short films have recieved many international awards and have been showcased on ARTE, Channel 4, and the National Iranian Television. He lives and writes in Tehran where he is involved with several local periodicals
Prof.Sh.Haeri is director of Women's Studies Program and an Associate Professor of cultural Anthropology at Boston University. Trained as a Cultural Anthropologist with specific focus on law and religion, Haeri has conducted cross-cultural ethnographic research in Iran, Pakistan, and India, and minimally in Uzbekistan and Turkey. Her ongoing intellectual and academic interests converge on the evolving yet contentious relationship between religion/law, gender, and the state in the Muslim world in general, and in Iran since revolution of 1979 in particular. She is the author of Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage, Mut’a, in Iran (1989, 2006 4th pt.), and No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani women (2002/2004).
Dr. Haeri made a short video documentary (46 min.) entitled, Mrs. President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran (2002), focusing on six women presidential contenders in Iran. Going against the grain, “Mrs. President” addresses the anomaly of under representation or “invisibility” of professional, educated, middle or upper middle class Muslim women in the media and in the growing literature on women from the Muslim world.
Born 1950, anthropologist-filmmaker and currently Chairman of the Commission on Visual Anthropology (CVA) of the International Union of the Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Educated in anthropology and Islamic Studies at Göttingen and London (SOAS) he received a PhD from Göttingen university in 1984 (on the history of the Nuba in the Sudan). Teaching since at different universities in Germany and abroad, and working as an academic staff member at the IWF Knowledge and Media Göttingen, Germany, his special fields of intererest include Visual Anthropology and the Anthropology of Sport. He has made several films, including "Nuba Wrestling", "Firth on Firth" and "Destination Samoa - New Zealand Samoans Between Two Cultures". His current work includes the making of a film about the life and work of Asen Balikci, founder of the Commission on Visual Anthropology.
M.Kashani was born and raised in San Francisco to a Japanese mother and Iranian father. Coming from a music background, she began filmmaking as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. She received her MFA in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts in 2003. Her films and videos have been presented at international museums and film festivals. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas, Austin, focussing on the Middle East Diaspora, Islamic Studies, and ethnographic filmmaking.
Ahmad Kiarostami has studied Math and Computer Science at Sharif University in Iran, and Philosophy at UCLA. He has worked in cinema and software industries for more than fifteen years. He founded three companies including the first multimedia and online production venue in Iran, where he published award-winning multimedia products in cinema and visual arts. His project, Persopedia.com, is the biggest digital library of Iranian poetry on Internet. Ahmad has worked on film projects with several Iranian directors including Bahram Beyzaie, Naser Taghvaee, and Ramin Bahrani. He has initiated and contributed to numerous film, cultural, and technical endeavors, including national computer standard committees in Iran, the Iranian National Graphics Society, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and San Francisco Cinematheque. His music video "Eshgh-e Sor'at", was amongst the most viewed Music Videos online.
Bahman Kiarostami, was born in Tehran in 1978 and started his work as an assistant director in 1996. His films including the anonymous
(2007), re-enactment (2006), Pilgrimage (2005), Infidels (2004) have
focused on the political power of faith inside contemporary Iranian
culture and eloquently explores the complex layers of religious
significance in the Iranian controversial society.
Dr.M.Langford holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Sydney. She is a lecturer in Film Studies in the School of English, Media and Performing Arts at the University of New South Wales where she is currently conducting research into the allegorical dimensions of Iranian cinema. She has published on both German and Iranian cinema and in 2005 she co-convened a 1 day symposium on Iranian cinema entitled Imagining Iran at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
Dr.M.Lotfalian is a resident fellow for 2006-2007 at the Center for Cultural Studies, UC-Santa Cruz and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Global Studies Program at University of Pittsburgh (Spring 08). An anthropologist trained at Rice University, Lotfalian has taught most recently at Yale University. His work explores notions of subjectivity and mediation among Muslims in the context of the transnational resurgence of Islam. His 2004 book, Islam, Technoscientific Identities, and the Culture of Curiosity (University Press of America), focused on the contemporary intellectual undertaking of Muslims to rethink how science and technology are practiced in the Islamic world. His current ethnographic work turns to the consideration of artistic productions of transnational Muslim artists. He is interested in relationship between aesthetics and politics in the transnational context.
Dr.P.Mahdavi has recently joined Pomona College as Assistant Professor of anthropology after pursuing her doctorate at Columbia University in the departments of Sociomedical Sciences and Anthropology. Her research interests include sexuality, human rights, transnational feminism and public health in the context of changing global and political structures. Her dissertation project is now being published as a book entitled “Passionate Uprisings: Iran’s Sexual Revolution” with Stanford Press. Dr Pardis Mahdavi teaches courses on Medical Anthropology, Sociocultural Anthropology, Ethnographic Methods and has designed a new course entitled “Sexual Politics of the Middle East”. She has published in the Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures, Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World Review, Culture, Health and Sexuality, Anthropology News. Pardis has received outstanding research awards from the American Public Health Association, the Society for Medical Anthropology and the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is currently an editor for Rahavard Quarterly, a journal devoted to contemporary social issues in Iran and amongst the Iranian diaspora.
Hamid Naficy is John Evans Professor of Communication, teaching film and media studies courses in the Department of Radio, Television, and Film at Northwestern University. His areas of research and teaching include documentary and ethnographic films; cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media; and Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas. He has published extensively on these and allied topics. His English language books are: An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton University Press), Home, Exile, Homeland: Film, Media, and the Politics of Place (edited, Routledge), The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles (University of Minnesota Press), Otherness and the Media: the Ethnography of the Imagined and the Imaged (co-edited, Harwood Academic), and Iran Media Index (Greenwood Press). His forthcoming work is the multi-volume book Cinema, Modernity, and National Identity: A Social History of a Century of Iranian Cinema (Duke University Press). He has also published extensively in Persian, including a two-volume book on the documentary cinema theory and history, Film-e Mostanad (Daneshgah-e Azad-e Iran Press). He has lectured widely internationally and his works have been cited and reprinted extensively and translated into many languages, including French, German, Turkish, Italian, and Persian.
Dr Kamran Rastegar
Kamran Rastegar is lecturer in Arabic and Persian at the University of Edinburgh, where he teaches comparative cultural and literary histories of the modern Middle East. He also researches on topics relating to contemporary cinemas of Iran and the Arab world. His recent publications include: “The Naïve Perspective in Women’s War Narratives: The Eye of the Mirror and Cracking India,” in The Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies. A monograph, Literary Modernity Between Europe and the Middle East was published in 2007 by Routledge.
P.Sadegh-Vaziri is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She came to the US for her studies, and received her BA degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Ct., and MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. She has worked as producer for Link TV on a series to promote peace with Iran; for Deep Dish TV on a series about the war in Iraq, for Trinity Television on documentaries about 9/11 and for Internews Network, on programs that promote dialogue between societies in conflict. She also teaches film studies at New York University, McGhee Division. Her personal documentaries about Iran have been broadcast on PBS, and Link TV and shown widely in museums, art houses and universities around the world.
Mr. H.R.Sadr born in 1956 in Masshad, Iran. He hold a B.A from the Faculty of Economics, Tehran University, and M.A in Urban Planning from the Faculty of Arts, Tehran University. He is writing about movies as a film critic since 1981 in the following magazines: Zan-e Rooz, Soroush, Film, Film International, and Haft. He has worked with the National Film Theatre (London) & London Film Festival in the selection of Iranian Films.
E.Shakerifar grew up in France and in the UK. She completed her undergraduate degree in Persian and Islamic Studies at Oxford in 2004, after which she studied Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research so far has mostly dealt with the status and rights of social marginalities -- ranging from gender issues in Islamic cultures (particularly temporary marriage and transsexuality) to portrayals of mental and physical disability in contemporary Western societies. She has long been active in various charitable organizations working essentially in projects of photography and filmmaking. “Roya and Omid” is one of Elhum’s first films about the social and legal realities faced by transsexuals from Iranian backgrounds.
One of her primary areas of interest is the subject of material culture and its influence on gender identity and discourse in Muslim societies. Textiles and Clothing, particularly the Islamic veil (hijab), is the main focus of her research. She also studies issues of women, rituals, and rites of passage as they relate to material culture and gender in popular Islamic societies. She has authored numerous articles in national and international scholarly journals andis the author of The Veil Unveiled: Hijab in Popular Culture. University Press of Florida, 2001 & 2003. Her next book Velvet Jihad: Muslim Women's Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism. University Press of Florida will be published in 2008.
Mohammad Shirvani was born in Tehran in 1973 to a religious family who did not approve of the cinema. He has a bachelor degree in painting and design from Tehran University. In 1998 he made his first short film, The Circle, which brought him a lot of success, including an award at the Cannes Film Festival, and established him as a filmmaker to watch. He has made seven fiction shorts, one experimental feature, and three feature documentaries. His films have been screened at more than two hundred festivals, and have cumulatively won twenty-five national and eleven international awards.
Prof.S.Siavochi was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She completed her Ph.D. program in political science at Ohio State University. Prof.S.Siavochi is the author of "Liberal Nationalism in Iran: The Failure of a Movement". Most of her works has been focused on contemporary Iranian polity including her article "Cultural Policies of the Islamic Republic: Cinema and Book Publications" published by International Journal of Middle East Studies.
Prof Annabelle Sreberny
Annabelle Sreberny is Professor and Director of the Centre for Media and Film Studies at SOAS, University of London. She has been researching and writing about Iran since before the revolution and her book “Small Media, Big Revolution” (W. A. Mohammadi) appears on Amazon’s best-seller list of books on Iran. She is currently working on a book about Iranian blogging (W. G.Khiabany) for IBTauris.
SOAS recently held a conference on The Cinema of Rakshan Bani-Etemad,
supported by a retrospective of her films at the BFI; Bani-Etemad ran a master class for film-makers and will be awarded an honorary degree by SOAS in July.
He was born in 1942 at the occupied Tehran and graduated from the vocational journalism school, Television training center, and arts complex university in film making. He has translated and authored some theoretical and research books and articles about the cinema and the modes of new documentary films, among them: script of Iranian cinema (best book of the year–1995), The Iranian cinema of dreams and phantasm. Iranian documentary cinema, the field of differences and have taught in university. He is one of the members of board of founder of the Iranian documentary film makers' society and once its director.