Iranian Studies Webinar Series
"Women Depicting Freedom of Movement in Iranian Cinema" a zoom lecture by Professor Nacim Pak-Shiraz, University of Edinburgh
Professor Nacim Pak-Shiraz
Professor Nacim Pak-Shiraz is Personal Chair in Cinema and Iran, and Head of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has published in the fields of visual cultures, constructions of masculinity, and the engagement of religion and film. She has authored Shi‘i Islam in Iranian Cinema: Religion and Spirituality in Film (2011& 2018), and edited Visualizing Iran: From Antiquity to Present (2017). Pak-Shiraz has also curated 5 annual film festivals in Edinburgh and been a jury member and presenter at a number of international film festivals in Europe and Asia.
This paper will examine women’s depiction of freedom of movement in public and private spaces in Iran. Historically, women have seldom played an active role in the social order in Iran. Patriarchal structures have defined values and delimited the physical, legal, political and religious spaces that men and women can occupy. In the modern period, their bodies have been the site of political battles and the spaces they can inhabit strictly regulated by patriarchal rulings. Even as women’s direct participation in defining and policing these boundaries remain limited, works of art have become one of the significant avenues through which they highlight and comment on current social constructs. By studying the films of female Iranian filmmakers, this research aims to scrutinise the complex set of religious, political, and social structures that restrict or assist both men and women’s movement in