Following Iran's June presidential elections, the Levantine Cultural Center presents a public forum in the MENA-X series. CSUN professor Nayereh Tohidi and Occidental College assistant professor Hussein Banai will question whether the newly elected Iranian President, Hassan Rowhani, will bring about substantial changes and positive reforms? What major domestic and foreign policy challenges he will be facing? And what are the primary demands and expectations of the people who voted for him? This is a public forum in the MENA-X series (Middle East/North Africa Exchange). It is cosponsored by the series Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Middle East Foreign Policy, a joint project of LA Jews for Peace, Friends of Sabeel, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA and the Levantine Cultural Center. Read an op-ed by Nayereh Tohidi in Open Democracy.
About the Speakers
Nayereh Tohidi is a Professor and former Chair at the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at California State University, Northridge. She is founding Director of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program at CSUN. She is also a Research Associate at the Center for Near Eastern Studies of UCLA where she has been coordinating the Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran since 2003. Professor Tohidi earned her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS (with Honors) from the University of Tehran in Psychology and Sociology.
Tohidi is the recipient of several grants, post-doctoral fellowships and research awards, including a year of Fulbright lectureship and research at the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan; post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University; Stanford University; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (in Washington, DC); the Keddie-Balzan Fellowship at the Center for Near Eastern Studies of UCLA; and an NEH grant to develop the MEIS Program. She has held visiting positions at Universities of Iowa, Minnesota, Harvard, USC, Paris-Diderot, and UCLA.
Tohidi's publications include many articles and also editorship or authorship of three books: Globalization, Gender and Religion: The Politics of Women's Rights in Catholic and Muslim Contexts; Women in Muslim Societies: Diversity within Unity; and Feminism, Democracy and Islamism in Iran. Visit her site.
Hussein Banai is an Assistant Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College, where he teaches courses on democratic theory and diplomatic history. He is also a Research Affiliate at the Center for International Studies at MIT. He earned his BA from York University in Canada, his MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK, and his PhD in Political Science from Brown University in Rhode Island. He is co-author of Becoming Enemies: US-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War and is currently working on a book manuscript on the tortured history of liberalism in modern Iran, provisionally titled, Democratic Consciousness: Pluralism and the Pursuit of Coexistence in Modern Iran. Visit his site.
This is one in the MENA-X series. The MENA-X lecture series is presented by the Levantine Cultural Center and features incisive talks with experts and guest moderators to help us better understand the complexities of life on the ground in the Middle East and North Africa, and among these communities in diaspora.