Ida Meftahi
Visiting Assistant Professor of Contemporary Iranian Culture and Society

Ida Meftahi is a historian specializing in modern Iran with a focus on the intersections of politics, gender, and performance (in its broader Goffmanian sense). She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University (2013–14) as well as visiting assistant professor of contemporary Iranian culture and society at the University of Maryland. Her first book, Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage was released in spring 2016. Meftahi’s scholarship has been published in numerous scholarly journals and volumes including Islam and Popular Arts (2016), Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity (2016), IranNameh (2016), International Journal of Middle East Studies (2016), and the bilingual Clio. Femmes, Genre, Histoire (2017). She is currently working on her second manuscript, a spatial humanities reading of Tehran’s historic Lalehzar district, while simultaneously directing the Lalehzar Digital Project, a component of the Roshan Initiative for Persian Digital Humanities. She is also the faculty advisor for Roshangar: Roshan Undergraduate Journal for Persian Studies.


Selected Publications:

Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage (Routledge Iranian Studies Series, 2016)


Read the Review of Gender and Dance in Modern Iran by Dr. Elhum Haghighat

Read the Review of Gender and Dance in Modern Iran by Dr. Houshang Chehabi

Review of Gender and Dance in Modern Iran in Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 14:1 (March 2018).

“Central Tehran as the Allies’ Mainstage for Recreation, Propaganda, and Interactive Wartime Reality,” in Tehran 1943: Iran, Internationalism and the Second World War, eds. Jennifer Jenkins and Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi (I. B. Tauris, forthcoming).

Embrasser l’Ajnabi (l’Étranger): une histoire politique de la danse de couple à Téhéran, 1920-1950/ Intimate Embraces with Ajnabi (Strangers): A Political History of Partner Dancing in Tehran, 1920-1950,” Clio, Femmes, Genre, Histoire 46:2 (2017).

“Sacred or Dissident: Islam, Embodiment and Subjectivity on Post-Revolutionary Iranian Theatrical Stage,” in Islam, Popular Culture and Art, ed. Karin Van Nieuwkerk, Martin Stokes, and Mark LeVine (University of Texas Press, 2016).

“The Sounds and Moves of Ibtizal in 20th Century Iran,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 48:1 (February 2016), 151–55.

“From Gynovestite (Zanpush) to the Angel and the Persian Princess: Invention of the National Dancer in Twentieth-Century Iran,” Iran Nameh 30:4 (Winter 2016), 10–35.

“Dancing Angels and Princesses: The Invention of an Ideal Female National Dancer in Twentieth-Century Iran,” in Oxford Handbook on Dance and Ethnicity, eds. Anthony Shay and Barbara. Sellers-Young (Oxford University Press, 2016).

“From ‘Evil-Inciting’ Dance to Chaste ‘Rhythmic Movements’: A Genealogy of Modern Islamic Dance-Theatre in Iran,” in Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim Cultural Sphere, ed. Karin Van Nieuwkerk (University of Texas Press, 2011), 231–56.



1220 B
Jimenez Hall
301-405- 3147