Political science professor Shirin Saeidi appointed director of Middle East studies



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Shirin Saidi

Shirin Saeidi has been appointed director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at U of A’s Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

Saeidi joined the U of A as an assistant professor of political science with a cross-appointment in Middle Eastern studies in 2018 and is the first woman to lead the Middle Eastern studies program since the founding of the center in the early 1990s.

“Having Dr. Saeidi lead our Middle East Studies program is an incredible opportunity for our college, our students, our community and beyond,” said Kathryn Sloan, Acting Dean of Fulbright College. “She brings a wealth of experience to the role of director through her more than 10 years of fieldwork in Iran and her interest in gender, activism, citizenship, Islamism and the role of women in authoritarian countries. .”

Saeidi’s teaching and research also focuses on international relations, comparative politics, qualitative methodology, theory, deviance, conflict and state formation, citizenship and nationalism, Islamism, feminist studies, sexuality and gender studies, and religion with a particular focus on the Middle East region.

His book, Women and the Islamic Republic: How Gendered Citizenship Conditions the Iranian State, was published by Cambridge University Press in January 2022, and Saeidi has also published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

“My work draws on archival and ethnographic methods, and I have also conducted interviews with non-elite, former and current prisoners, military and state officials, and guerrilla fighters” said Saeidi, who is fluent in Persian. “My research commitments have taken me to Iran, and my geographic area of ​​interest is freedom.”

Saeidi said she also looked forward to working with students in the Middle East Studies program and supervising “ambitious graduate students interested in reinventing everything from the container of the nation-state to the abolition of the prison industrial complex, and even of the hierarchical international system”.

Saeidi was also recently appointed to the U of A Chancellor’s Commission on Women, serves as a professor-in-residence, and participates in the Adopt a Professor program.

In addition, she is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Citizenship Studies, as a reviewer for several scholarly journals and monographs, and was previously a technical advisor to the United Nations Women’s Programme. She is also a member of the Middle East Studies Association, the International Studies Association and the Feminist Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa.

Saeidi holds a BA in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Global Cooperation Research and at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

Learn more about Saeidi’s research and fieldwork in this Brief Talks from the Hill podcast.

About the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies: The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, dedicated to the study of the modern Middle East and the geocultural area in which civilization Islam has flourished and continues. shape the history of the world. The Center for Interdisciplinary and Interdepartmental Studies provides diverse cultural, intellectual, and educational opportunities to the campus community and promotes research and teaching in interdisciplinary Middle Eastern studies. The center offers an undergraduate major in Middle Eastern Studies, a minor, and supports graduate study in related departments.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the few American colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News and World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Learn how the U of A is working to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

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