Female. Education: College of Literature and Foreign Languages (Tehran, Iran), B.A., 1973; Tehran University, M.A., 1977; University of Michigan, Ph.D., 1991.
Office—Purdue University, BRNG 6156, University Hall, 672 Oval Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2087. E-mail—[email protected]
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, lecturer, 1984-85; University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, research associate, 1985-91; Columbia University, Chicago, assistant professor of history, 1991-92; Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, assistant professor of history, 1992-95, associate professor of history and women's studies, 1997—. Also speaker in field.
Association for Middle East Women's Studies (editorial board, 1996; current president), International Society for Iranian Studies (council, 1992-96; program coordinator, 1992-96; president), International Sociological Association, Historical Society of Iranian Women (director, 1991), Middle East Studies Association, National Women's Studies Association (board of directors, 1996-98), Coordinating Council for Women in History of the American Historical Association (former president), American Historical Association.
National Endowment for the Humanities fellow; American Council for Learned Studies fellow; grants from the Soros and the International Research and Exchanges foundations.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1996, revised and expanded edition published as The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Bisotoun Press (Tehran, Iran), 2000.
(With Hasan Javadi, Manijeh Marashi, and Simin Shekarloo) Disciplining of Women and Vices of Men, Historical Society of Iranian Women (Chicago, IL), 1992.
The Semi-Secret Councils of Women in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Banu Press (Tehran, Iran), 1998.
(With M. Alibakhshian and M. Fatoorehchi) A Look at Women and Gender in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Historical Society of Iranian Women (Chicago, IL), 2000.
Contributor to books, including Expanding the Boundaries of Women's History: Essays on Women in the Third World, edited by Cheryl Johnson-Odim and Margaret Strobel, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1992; A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran, edited by John Foran, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1994; and Iran and Iranian Studies: Essays in Honor of Iraj Afshar, edited by Kambiz Eslami, Zagross Press (Princeton, NJ), 1998; also contributor to encyclopedias.
Contributor to periodicals, including New Politics, Frontier: A Journal of Women's Studies, Human Rights Quarterly, Radical History Review, Critique: Journal for Critical Studies of the Middle East, New Left Review, Journal of National Women's Studies Association, Iranian Studies: Journal of the Society of Iranian Studies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Journal of Women's History.
As a professor of history and women's studies, Janet Afary is an expert on related topics, particularly Iranian history. In her first book, TheIranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism, Afary utilizes newspapers, historical documents, and personal accounts to analyze the role that diverse groups played in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. The revolution led to the establishment of a parliament in Persia. "Afary's well written reevaluation of the history of this revolution is unique and innovative," commented Ali Akbar Mahdi in the Historian. Mahdi also noted that the author "enriches historical facts and provides a deeper understanding of historical processes" in addition to "history as analysis rather than history as narration."
Afary followed The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911 with a book titled Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism in 2005. The book, which Afary wrote with Kevin B. Anderson, discusses French philosopher Michel Foucault's support of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, during which the monarchy, under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, was overthrown. The Iranian revolutionaries were opposed to cultural modernization and Westernization. The book details Foucault's travels to Iran and analyzes his subsequent writings on the country. Many reviewers appreciated Afary and Anderson's novel approach. Murat Yildiz, writing in the Middle East Journal, called the book "an insightful look at how Foucault's experiences in Iran influenced his ideas." Additionally, Library Journal critic Sadiq Alkoriji pointed out that the analysis of Foucault's writings "sheds light on a presumed resistance to the material body of the West," concluding that Foucault and the Iranian Revolution is "insightful."
Afary discussed Foucault and the Iranian Revolution in an interview posted on the Purdue University Web site. She stated: "Foucault understood early on that Iran's revolution was going to be different from previous ones and that it would contribute to an Islamist movement that would change the role Middle East countries play in global politics in a substantial way." She continued: "Thus he became enamored with the Iranian revolution because it was a different kind of revolution that challenged the Western model of progress."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Historian, winter, 1999, Ali Akbar Mahdi, review of The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism, p. 402.
Library Journal, April 15, 2005, Sadiq Alkoriji, review of Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism, p. 90.
Middle East Journal, autumn, 2005, Murat Yildiz, review of Foucault and the Iranian Revolution, p. 701.
Purdue University Web site,http://www.purdue.edu/ (July 8, 2005), Amy Patterson Neubert, "New Book on Philosopher Foucault's Support for Radical Islamism"; (June 8, 2006), author profile.