Beyond the Enigma of the Veil: Representation of Women’s Status in Post-revolutionary Iran by Iranian–American Memoirs

In: Sociology of Islam
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  • 1 Tari Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of Tehran, Iran
  • 2 Professor of English Literature and American Studies, University of Tehran, Iran

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Exilic Iranian memoirs by female writers began to emerge after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and surged after September 11, 2001. The dramatic increase in Iranian–American memoirs, which began after 9/11 signifies a complex relation between publication of this literary genre and mass consumption in a specific historical moment. The present paper offers a thematic analysis of a number of memoirs published by female Iranian–Americas in English from 1979 to 2012. Using Orientalism as a theoretical framework the study finds that Orientalist stereotypes are often used in framing and explaining events and issues related to Iranian women and sexuality under the Islamic Republic. In analyzing texts specific assumptions toward Iranian women will be questioned and discussed with occasional reference to details.

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