The Unforgettable Queens of Islam–Succession, Authority, Gender with Shahla Haeri (Feb. 26, 2020)

The BU Center for the Study of Asia
is pleased to present a lecture by

Shahla Haeri

(Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Boston University)

The Unforgettable Queens of Islam:
Succession, Authority, Gender

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 from 12-1:30 pm

121 Bay State Road, Boston University

(Light lunch provided!)

About the Book
The Unforgettable Queens of Islam: Succession, Authority, Gender

In this landmark study, Shahla Haeri offers the extraordinary biographies of several Muslim women rulers and leaders who reached the apex of political systems of their times. Their stories illuminate the complex and challenging imperatives of dynastic succession, electoral competition and the stunning success they achieved in medieval Yemen and India, and modern Pakistan and Indonesia. The written history of Islam and the Muslim world is overwhelmingly masculine, having largely ignored women and their contributions until well into the 20th century. Religious and legal justifications have been systematically invoked to justify Muslim women’s banishment from politics and public domains. Yet this patriarchal domination has not gone on without serious challenges by women – sporadic and exceptional though their participation in the battle of succession has been. The Unforgettable Queens of Islam highlights lives and legacies of a number of charismatic women engaged in fierce battles of succession, and their stories offer striking insights into the workings of political power in the Muslim world.


About the Speaker

A former director of the Women’s Studies Program at Boston University, Shahla Haeri is one of the pioneers of Iranian Anthropology, and has produced cutting-edge ethnographies of Iran, Pakistan and the Muslim world. Her landmark books include her classic ethnography, Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage, Mut’a, in Iran (1989/2014) translated into Arabic and reprinted frequently, highlighting the tenacious but secretive custom of temporary marriage in Iran; No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women (2002/2004), widens the ethnographic scope to make visible lives of educated and professional Muslim women. Her recently released book, The Unforgettable Queens of Islam: Succession, Authority, Gender (Cambridge University Press) is a groundbreaking book on the extraordinary lives and legacies of a few remarkable Muslim women sovereigns from across cultures and Islamic history. Dr. Haeri’s academic and creative oeuvre include directing a video documentary, Mrs. President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran (2002, 46 min.) focusing on six women presidential contenders during the Iranian presidential election of 2001. She is the recipient of many fellowships, grants, and postdoctoral fellowships.

View Professor Haeri’s CV