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The Islamic Republic of Iran at 40

In 1979 Iran witnessed one of the most broad-based political uprisings in the world’s contemporary history. Join the Middle East Studies Forum in a series of workshop seminars that brings together leading scholars from Australia and abroad to discuss the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic, and to assess the revolution’s myriad legacies and the many challenges that the country faces today.

The symposium examine a broad range of subjects from the internal and external politics of Iran to examining the ideological questions and transformations and the cultures and the arts in the Islamic Republic over the last 40 years.

Download the symposium program or the flyer or running schedule.


9.45am – 5pm Friday 1 November

Level 2, Building BC, Deakin University Burwood campus

Please RSVP to by 25 October for catering purposes.

Speaker bios

Shahram Akbarzadeh (PhD) is Deputy Director (International) of the Alfred Deakin Institute (ADI) and Convener of Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) at Deakin University. He held a prestigious Australian  Research Council Future Fellowship on the Iran’s Foreign Policy-Making. He has also carried out many research projects on the Middle East and Central Asia, currently working on a Carnegie project on Proxy Wars in the Middle East. He has published extensively in his field of expertise in high impact journals, including Middle East Policy, British Journal of Middle East Studies, and Third World Quarterly. His latest books include: Iran in the World: President Rouhani’s Foreign Policy (edited with Dara Conduit, 2016), and Middle East Politics and International Relations: Crisis Zone (with Kylie Baxter 2018).

Rebecca Barlow has dedicated her academic and professional life to the study and promotion of women’s empowerment, specialising in women’s leadership. Rebecca is a published author with Melbourne University Publishing, Routledge, and in a range of academic journals for the humanities, including Human Rights Quarterly and Oxford’s Journal of Human Rights Practice. Since 2017 Rebecca has led the design, implementation, and evaluation of leadership courses for senior women leaders from Indonesia for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In 2007 Rebecca was one of only four early career researchers selected globally to act as Rapporteur at the Nobel Women’s initiative’s first international conference Women Redefining Peace in the Middle East and Beyond (Galway, Ireland).

James Barry, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute of Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. Barry is an anthropologist specialising in ethnic and religious identity in Iran. His book, Armenian Christians in Iran: Ethnicity, Religion and Identity in the Islamic Republic was recently published by Cambridge University Press. He is currently working with the Chair of Islamic Studies at the Alfred Deakin Institute, and has published research in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Third World Quarterly, Iranian Studies and the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.

Dara Conduit is an Associate Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, where she works on authoritarianism and oppositions, mostly in the Middle East. Her work has been published in journals including Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the Middle East Journal and Journal of Contemporary China, and her book The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.

Mariam Farida is a sessional teacher at Macquarie University in Security Studies in the School of Security Studies and Criminology and University of New South Wales in the School of Social Sciences. She has conducted extensive research on insurgent groups such as Hizbullah in Lebanon, and studied the development of groups from violence to political transformation. She has research interests in Middle East Politics, nonstate groups, International Relations, Global Security,  Terrorism, Counter terrorism operations, and National Security. Mariam has been awarded her PhD from Macquarie University in 2018. She has published on Hezbollah and Political transformation of non-state actors in journals such as International Review for Social Research, Journal for Policing, Intelligence, and Counter Terrorism, and the Handbook of Terrorist and Insurgent Groups: A Global Survey of Threats, Tactics, and Characteristics. She is also the author of Religion and Hezbollah: Political Ideology and Legitimacy (Routledge, 2020).

Naser Ghobadzadeh is a senior lecturer at the National School of Arts, ACU. Researching at the intersection of religion and politics, Naser’s interests lie in the study of Islamic political theology, secularism, and Middle East politics. Naser holds a Ph.D. (University of Sydney, 2012) and an M.A. in Political Science (Shahid Beheshti University, Iran 2001). Naser has authored three books including Religious secularity: a theological challenge to the Islamic state (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), Caspian Sea: legal regime, neighbouring countries and US policies (Tehran: Farhang-e Gofteman, 2005 – in Farsi) and A study of people’s divergence from ruling system (Tehran: Farhang-e Gofteman, 2002-in Farsi). He is also co-editor of a recently published collection of essays, The Politics of Islamism: Diverging Visions and Trajectories (New York: Palgrave 2018).

Firouzeh Khoshnoudiparast’s doctoral research focuses on ‘Iranian nuclear diplomacy and non-proliferation negotiations’ at the Australian National University (ANU). Firouzeh was a 2016-2017 Endeavour Postgraduate Scholar and a 2016 Visiting Research Fellow with the program on Global Governance at the Centre for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies, University of South Florida. In 2017, Firouzeh was also a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She completed Master of Advanced National Security Policy at the ANU College of National Security and Master of Diplomacy at the ANU College of Diplomacy. She is particularly interested in working on the agency of nuclear decisionmaking inside the states and its impact on the future of international

Ali Mozaffari is a Fellow of the Australian Research Council (ARC) with the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia. He is the author of Development, architecture and the formation of heritage in late-twentieth century Iran: A vital past (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2020), Forming National Identity in Iran: The Idea of Homeland Derived from Ancient Persian and Islamic Imaginations of Place (I.B. Tauris, 2014) and editor of World Heritage in Iran: Perspectives on Pasargadae (Routledge, 2016). Mozaffari’s current
trans-disciplinary research is on uses of the past in forming national and regional identities and relations in West Asia.

Laetitia Nanquette is a Senior Lecturer and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She holds a BA in Philosophy from the Sorbonne, Paris, and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her current DECRA project is entitled: “A Global Comparative Study of Contemporary Iranian  Literature”. She frequently travels to Iran for research fieldwork and translates contemporary Persian literary texts.

Mahmoud Pargoo focuses on the intersection of Shia fiqh, secularization theories, and politics of post-revolutionary Iran and is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled “paradoxes of secularisation and Islamization”. He is a Ph.D. graduate in Social and Political Thought from Australian Catholic University and has taught “Islam and Democracy in the Muslim World” at the University of Sydney. His most recent academic paper is published in “Islam and Muslim and Christian Relations” (2018) titled “Expansion and Contraction of Scripture: The Ritual (Im)purity of Unbelievers According to Shīʿa jurisprudence”.

Azadeh Davachi is a researcher, writer and women’s rights activist, living in Australia. I have been an activist since 2005, and have since been involved in several women’s rights campaigns both inside and outside of Iran. I have coordinated projects on Iranian women, and work as a board member of the Feminist school, one of the leading Iranian women’s rights centre in Iran. I have published several articles, commentaries and reports about the situation of women in Iran in online and printed journals in Persian and English. I am working as a freelance writer and commentator with BBC Persian, Radio Zamaneh, Iran International and several other Persian media outlets. I have published two books on Iranian women’s movement and two collections of poetry (in Persian). Currently I am finishing my study at Deakin University