Proposing a methodology that brings feminist theories of embodiment to bear on the Iranian literary and cinematic tradition, this study examines temporary marriage in Iran, not just as an institution but also as a set of practices, identities and meanings that have transformed over the course of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Based on analysis of novels and short stories from the Pahlavi era, and cinematic works produced after the Islamic Revolution, Claudia Yaghoobi looks at the representation of the sigheh women, or those who entered into temporary marriages. Each work reflects the manner in which the practice of sigheh impacts women by calling into question how sexuality works as a form of political analysis and power, revealing how a sigheh woman's sexual bodily autonomy is used as ammunition against what governments deem inappropriate gendered expression. While focusing mainly on modern Iranian cultural productions, Yaghoobi moves beyond the literary and cinematic realms to offer an in-depth examination of this controversial social institution which has been the subject of disdain for many Iranian feminists and captured the imagination of many Western observers.Read more
- Brings feminist theories of embodiment to bear on the Iranian literary and cinematic tradition to understand the concept and practise of temporary marriage in Iran
- Examines the representation of sigheh women within novels and short stories from the Pahlavi era and cinematic works produced after the Islamic Revolution
- Breaks away from standard narratives about Iranian female sexuality to offer a new perspective on definitions of Iranian womanhood
Reviews & endorsements
'Yaghoobi's mastery over her source material is impressive, and the many ways in which she brings Persian realist fiction of the early and mid-twentieth century into meaningful dialogue with post-revolutionary cinema are admirable. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the social and political debates around gender and the female body in contemporary Iran.' Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, University of OxfordSee more reviews
'What distinguishes Claudia Yaghoobi's winning storytelling and her original contribution to our knowledge of women, sexuality and temporary marriage in Iran, is her skillful analysis and highly engaging interpretations of sigheh women's paradoxical role at the margin of society yet at the center of male fantasy.' Shahla Haeri, Boston University
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- Date Published: March 2022
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108738439
- length: 310 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.42kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Prologue: sexpionage and the female body
Part I. General Overview: Introduction: body politics and sigheh marriages
1. Sigheh marriages in modern Iran
Part II. Representation of Sigheh/Sex Work in the Literature of Pahlavi Era:
2. Gendered violence in Moshfeq-e Kazemi's Tehran-e Makhuf
3. The volatile sigheh/sex workers' bodies in Jamalzadeh's Ma'sumeh Shirazi
4. Colonized bodies in Al-e Ahmad's 'Jashn-e Farkhonde'
5. The grotesque sigheh/sex workers' bodies in Golestan's 'Safar-e 'Esmat'
6. Bodily inscriptions in Chubak's Sang-e Sabur
Part III. The Islamic Republic and Sigheh in Film Industry:
7. Whose body matters in Afkhami's Showkaran
8. Embodiment, power, and politics in Farahbakhsh's Zendegi-ye Khosusi
Reclaiming the female body via writing.
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