Conference Speakers

Amirhassan Boozari

Amirhassan Boozari was the Legal Advisor to a Parliamentary Commission in Iran’s Parliament, which was charged with the duties of Constitutional Ombudsman in Tehran, Iran from 1990-92.   Amirhassan Boozari is an adjunct professor of law at UCLA, Whittier and Pepperdine universities.  His main areas of research are comparative constitutionalism, Islamic law, International Human Rights, and democratic transition in Muslim countries.

Hamid Dabashi

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures. He has published numerous books on a range of topics. Most notably, his Theology of Discontent discusses the intellectual contributions of eight key political and intellectual figures to the development of a coherent Islamic ideology in Iran, a distinct and modern phenomenon that played pivotal role in the events that transpired in 1979. Since he has published significant pieces reviewing this argument including “The End of Islamic Ideology” (Social Research; Summer 2000) and Islamic Liberation Theology. He has also written about the instrumental role of visual culture in the revolutionary process as well as commenting extensively on emerging cultural and political developments in Iran and the greater Middle East.  Dr. Dabashi’s commentaries on the green movement in Iran, and his claim that it was a “post-ideological civil rights movement” have informed some of the central themes in this conference.

Kaveh Ehsani

Kaveh Ehsani is an Assistant Professor of International Studies at DePaul University where he teaches the Politics, Economy and Culture of the Middle East with a specific focus on Iran. He is a longtime contributor to the Middle East Report and has spent over 10 years living and working in Iran where he has conducted extensive fieldwork.

Mehrangiz Kar

Mehrangiz Kar is a recognized advocate of women’s and human rights in Iran where she practiced as a lawyer for a number of years after the 1979 revolution. She has extensive experience working within the framework of penal codes established by the Islamic Republic and has been at the intellectual forefront of movements for social justice in Iran for over 30 years.

Ali Akbar Mousavi

Ali Akbar Mousavi is a noted Iranian human rights activist.   He was elected to the 6th Parliament of Iran.  As a Member of Parliament he championed the rights of political prisoners.  He was an active member of Tahkim Vahdat and founder of the Sazeman-e Danesh Amokhtegan-e Iran (Iran Students Alumni Organization) that advocated for human rights in Iran for women, minorities, prisoners, and students.

Aamir Mufti

Aamir Mufti is a professor of Comparative Literature at UCLA.  He pursued his doctoral studies in literature at Columbia University under the supervision of Edward Said. He was also trained in Anthropology at Columbia and the London School of Economics, and his research and teaching reflect this disciplinary range. His work reconsiders the secularization thesis in a comparative perspective, with a special interest in Islam and modernity in India and the cultural politics of Jewish identity in Western Europe. His areas of specialization include: colonial and postcolonial literatures, with a primary focus on India and Britain, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century Urdu literature in particular; Marxism and aesthetics; Frankfurt School critical theory; minority cultures;  exile and displacement; refugees and the right to asylum; modernism and fascism; language conflicts; global English and the vernaculars; and the history of Anthropology.

William I. Robinson

William I. Robinson is a professor of Sociology, Latin American and Iberian Studies, and Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on: macro and comparative sociology, globalization and trans-nationalism, political economy, political sociology, development and social change, Latin America and the Third World, and Latina/o studies.

Muhammad Sahimi

Muhammad Sahimi is a political columnist for Tehran Bureau.  He is a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and the NIOC Chair in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.  In addition to his scientific research, which has resulted in four books and nearly 300 published papers, he has been writing about Iran’s nuclear program and its internal developments for many years.