Parallel Lives: Women of the Iranian Diaspora

Program September 27, 2023, 7 p.m.
Virtual Program

Artist Arghavan Khosravi has stated, “I occupy an in-between space, familiar to many immigrants.” As an Iranian artist living in America, her work reflects her lived experience,   dwelling within a rich liminal space between identities. This cultural hybridity provides a  nuanced perspective, which serves the creative process and allows for new spaces of belonging.

Join Khosravi and acclaimed author Marjan Kamali for an exploration of the Iranian diaspora through visual and narrative storytelling. Moderated by Shahla Haeri, Professor of Anthropology at Boston University, this virtual conversation will investigate the dual consciousness experienced by Iranian immigrant women and how their work shifts cultural dynamics of power and privilege.




Parallel Lives: Women of the Iranian Diaspora , 2023. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University.



Shahla Haeri is a Professor of Anthropology and a former director of the Women's Studies Program at Boston University (2001-2010). Dr. Haeri is one of the pioneers of Iranian Anthropology and has produced cutting-edge ethnographies of Iran, Pakistan, and the Muslim world. Her landmark books include her classic ethnography, Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage, Mut’a, in Iran (1989/revised edition, 2014; Syracuse University Press), translated into Arabic and reprinted frequently, highlighting the tenacious but secretive custom of temporary marriage in Iran; No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women (2002/2004; Syracuse University Press), making visible lives of educated and professional Muslim women. Her latest book, The Unforgettable Queens of Islam: Succession, Authority, Gender (2020; Cambridge University Press), is among the handful of books on Muslim women and political authority. The book foregrounds the extraordinary lives and legacies of a few remarkable women sovereigns from across the Muslim world who have worn the crown in medieval Muslim societies or been elected to the office of Prime Minister or President in contemporary ones. Dr. Haeri’s academic and creative oeuvre includes producing and directing the documentary Mrs. President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran (2002), which focuses on six women presidential contenders during the 2001 Iranian presidential election. She is the recipient of many fellowships, grants, and postdoctoral fellowships.

Marjan Kamali is the award-winning author of The Stationery Shop (2019; Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster), a national bestseller, and Together Tea (2013; EccoBooks/HarperCollins), a Massachusetts Book Award finalist. She is a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship recipient. Kamali holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from New York University. Born in Turkey to Iranian parents, Kamali spent her childhood in Turkey, Iran, Germany, Kenya, and the United States.  She is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Arghavan Khosravi is the 2023 Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with shows at the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; the Orlando Museum of Art, Florida; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Yinchuan, China; Newport Art Museum, Newport, Rhode Island; and Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Massachusetts; among others. Khosravi is a 2019 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painters & Sculptors Grant and a 2017-18 recipient of the Walter Feldman Fellowship.


This program is held in conjunction with Arghavan Khosravi: Black Rain, on view August 3 – October 22, 2023, and is supported by the Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence Award Fund.