Revolutionary Bodies: Technologies of Gender, Sex, and Self in Contemporary Iran


Product Details

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date
6.14 X 9.21 X 0.63 inches | 1.17 pounds

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About the Author

K. S. Batmanghelichi is an associate faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research in New York, USA.


Batmanghelichi provides a fascinating analysis of how the regulation of sexuality has evolved in Iran. The book takes us on an illuminating journey from reforming the visual arts, to regulating prostitution in red-light parks before the 1979 revolution and relying on temporary marriage after the revolution, to refashioning "modest" statues post-revolution, and finally to contradictory government approaches to dealing with HIV/AIDs. This is a must read if you want to understand sexuality before and after the Islamic revolution.
Melanie Heath, Associate Professor of Sociology, McMaster University, Canada
In this perceptive, well documented and illustrated study, Batmanghelichi depicts the scope, determination as well as failures of Iran's policy of moral cleansing targeting women's sexuality. Combining historical analysis and ethnographic research, this is a welcome addition to the literature on the resilience of women's sexuality to the power of moral engineering grounded in religion.
Marnia Lazreg, Professor of Sociology, Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
Drawing on an innovating combination of archival, historical material; social policies including sexual health policies; art, women's magazines, and the rearrangement of public spaces in Iran over the last 100 years under two very different states, the author skillfully counters current understandings of the Islamic regime's treatment of women, their bodies, their dress and as a rupture from the Pahlavi era treatment of women. This book convincing argues that the policies of both regimes, and their perspectives on women, a part of a a continuum that views women and their public representation as central to national ideology as imagined by the state, regardless of each regime's particular political perspective. Readers are taken on an intriguing tour of a century of social and oral history and exploration of policy directives. This tour highlights the failures of these successive regimes to understand the diversity of Iranian women, to successfully manipulate women's bodies as a collective vehicle for state ideology, or to entrench their desired ideological hegemony. An unparalleled account of the role and the centrality of female citizens in the political imaginations of both the current Iranian regime and the Pahlavi monarchy it unseated, this is a work of original and interestingly sourced scholarship, and of thoughtful analysis.
Homa Hoodfar, Professor of Anthropology, Emerita, Concordia University, Canada