Ida Meftahi
Lecturer 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 (2014-18). Her first book, Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage was released in spring 2016 which won the prestigous Latifeh Yarshater Award for its original contribution to the literature on Iranian Women's Studies. 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 geo-political reading of Tehran’s historic Lalehzar district and its vicinity, 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.


First Book & Its Reviews.    

Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage (Routledge Iranian StudiesSeries, 2016) (also in paperback in 2017).

Houchang Chehabi, "Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage," Iranian Studies, 51(4)(December 2017).

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

 Elhum Haghighat, "Review of Gender and Dance in Modern Iran,Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES- MEMBR). 

Alireza Eshraghi“The Spectacle of Dance in Contemporary Iran [Ma‘rikah’i Raqs dar Iran-i Imruz],” Aasoo (July 2018).

Current Projects

“Tulip Grove, Tehran: Urban Geopolitics, Diplomacy, Gender, and (Performative) Culture in Modern Iran,” manuscript under preparation.

Lalehzar Digital Project.

Raqs Nigari: Guzidah’i Maqalat-i Tarikhi Darbarah’i Raqs [A book-length selection of Persian historical writings on dance], (Iran Namag Book Series, forthcoming). 

Published Articles

“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.


Undergraduate Courses

HIST219X/PERS251: Modern Iran, approved as a History and Social Science general education course, Fall 2014–18.

PERS283/Film 298B: Iranian Cinema, Fall 2014 & 2017-8.
HIST328C/PERS398B: Arts, Leisure, and Entertainment: Urban Life in Modern Iran, Spring 2015-19.
PERS298A/WMST298J: Gender and Body in Iran, approved as a Humanities general education course, Spring 2015–19.
PERS398D: Contemporary Iranian Youth Culture, Fall 2015–16.
PERS398F: Readings in Iranian Art and Culture, October 2014 & Spring 2017.
Graduate Courses
SLLC889-3350: Doctoral Independent Study, Re-Writing Iranian Theater History Through Primary Source Examination, Spring 2016 & Fall 2017.
PERS 689-2980: Graduate Independent Study, Iran-US Relations in Archival Sources, Fall 2017. 
PERS 689-2980: Graduate Independent Study, A Historiographical Study of Modern Iranian Plays, Fall 2017.
Outside Classroom Teaching
Faculty Advisor for Roshangar: Roshan Undergraduate Persian Studies Journal  since itsfoundation in 2015. a platform for publication of rigorous undergraduate research in the field of Persian Studies with an interdisciplinary approach. The journal strives to inspire original research as well as to promote a broader interest in Persian Studies within the academic community. 


1220 B
Jimenez Hall
301-405- 3147