Shahla Haeri

Faculty Associate
Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology


PhD, University of California, Los Angeles; CAS, Harvard University; MA, Northeastern University


Shahla Haeri is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and the former director of Women’s Studies Program (2001-2010) at Boston University. She has conducted ethnographic research in Iran, Pakistan and India, focusing on the implications of marriage contract, gender legal inequality, comparative feminisms and fundamentalisms, and women’s political leadership in the Muslim world. Her forthcoming book, tentatively called Muslim Women’s Paths to Power: From Bilqis to Benazir, concentrates on the challenges of authority faced by charismatic Muslim women sovereigns (2017). She is the author of Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage, Mut’a, in Iran (1989, Revised Edition 2014), and No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women (2002; 2004 Karachi, Oxford University Press).

Haeri is the producer and director of a video documentary (46 min.) entitled, Mrs. President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran, focusing on six women presidential contenders in Iran in 2001. (Distributed by Films for Humanities and Sciences).

Haeri is the recipient of several postdocs, fellowships and grants, including: American Institute of Pakistan Studies (2016); Visiting Fellowship at Georgetown University’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Doha, Qatar (2011-2012). Henderson Senior Research Fellowships in the Humanities at Boston University (2008-2009); Research Associate, Women’s Studies in Religion Studies at Harvard Divinity School (Colorado Scholar; 2005-2006); Fulbright (1999-2000, 2002-2003); St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University (1996); American Institute of Pakistan Studies, (1991-1992); Social Science Research Council (1987-1988); Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown University (1986- 1987); and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University (1985-1986).