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Roxanne Bibizadeh

 

PhD Research

Freedom and Unfreedom in the Literature of the Iranian and Arab Diaspora

My research seeks to interrogate the concept of freedom, a vital issue in contemporary feminist scholarship surrounding women’s equality. The main contribution of this thesis is to identify the ways in which diasporic Iranian and Arab writers are challenging the binary construct of “Western” secular freedom versus the unfreedom of Islam, in order to offer alternative ways of pursuing and obtaining freedom. There is a pressing need to reconfigure the dynamic relationship between Islam, feminism and secularism, terms that are conventionally considered incompatible. I argue that the texts in this thesis explore the convergences and divergences between these terms through the writer’s or their protagonist’s quest for freedom. Each chapter will focus on how the writers resist or attempt to mobilise their identification with Islam, including whether they are successful at reimagining what it means to assert freedom, to redefine choice, and avoid their agency becoming a commodity. This thesis offers an original contribution to the conceptualisation of freedom within the literature of the Iranian and Arab diaspora by drawing on three key theoretical frameworks: feminism, international human rights law and philosophies of freedom.

Supervisors

Prof. Pablo Mukherjee and Dr. Rashmi Varma

Teaching and Work History

Current:

  • IAS Early Career Innovation Fellow and Research Fellow Department of Computer Science - The University of Warwick - August 2019 - Present.
  • Academic Fellowship - Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning - The University of Warwick - January 2015 - Present.
  • Editorial Assistant - Feminist Dissent - October 2015 - Present
  • Resident Tutor - Sherbourne, The University of Warwick - September 2012 - Present.

Past:

  • Research Assistant – Department of Computer Science – The University of Warwick –
    November 2016 – December 2018
    • ESRC IAA (Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account) funded project: “Digital Wildfires: Mediation and Responsible Citizenship in the Digital Age”
  • Course Director - The Centre for Lifelong Learning at The University of Warwick - October 2013 - September 2016
    • Feminism, Sexuality and Gender in Literature
    • Banned Books: Literature and Censorship
    • Banned Books: Feminism, Literature and Censorship
  • Module Tutor - The University of Warwick - 2015 - July 2016 - EN270 Transnational Feminism: Literature, Theory and Practice.
  • Module Tutor - The University of Warwick - 2012 - July 2016 - EN122 Modes of Reading.

Previous Teaching Experience:

  • Part Time Teacher of English - Princethorpe College - September 2013 - December 2013 - June 2015.
  • Part Time Teacher of English and Critical Thinking – King Henry VIII School – January 2012 – August 2013.
  • Qualified Teacher of English – Barking Abbey School – July 2009 – August 2011.
  • Graduate Training Programme – Teacher of English – Archers Court Maths and Computing College – September 2008 – June 2009.

Qualifications and Awards

  • Winner of The Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduate Research Students (WATE PGR) 2013-14.
  • Nominated for The Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduate Research Students (WATE PGR) 2012-2013.
  • Awarded a letter of commendation for the Post-Graduate Award for Higher Education Teaching. I have furthered my teaching qualification to University level pedagogy, achieving Associate Fellowship status.

Conferences and Symposiums

  • "Marginalized Voices: The Search for Identity in Monica Ali's Brick Lane and Gautam Malkani's Londonstani" - 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference - Marginal Cartographies: Researching Beyond Borders - Department of Sociology - The University of Warwick - 28th April 2012
  • "Psychoanalytical Constructions of Identity in Monica Ali's Brick Lane and Gautam Malkani's Londonstani" - Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society Postgraduate Conference - Centre for Psychoanalysis - Middlesex University London - 9th June 2012
  • I was involved in organising and delivered a paper at The Eighth Annual Postgraduate Symposium - Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies - The University of Warwick - 27th June 2012
  • "Women in Exile: Islam and disempowerment in Fadia Faqir's My Name is Salma" - Islam and the West: A Love Story? - A Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Symposium - The University of Glasgow - 24th November 2012

  • "Gendered Violence and Resistance" - Centre for the Study of Women and Gender Graduate Seminar Series -The University of Warwick - 28th November 2012
  • "Women in Exile: Islam and disempowerment in Fadia Faqir's My Name is Salma" - Mapping the Self: Place, Identity, Nationality - A Postgraduate Symposium - Oxford Brookes University - 15th December 2012
  • "Women in Exile: Islam and disempowerment in Fadia Faqir's My Name is Salma" - The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network - Queens University Belfast - 4-5th April 2013
  • "Othering the Muslimah: “Islamicis[ing] the process of ‘writing back’” in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret, The Translator, and Coloured Lights" - Going Local: African Texts and Cultures - an Interdisciplinary Conference - The University of Birmingham - Monday 24th June 2013
  • "Othering the Muslimah: “Islamicis[ing] the process of ‘writing back’” in Leila Aboulela’s Minaret, The Translator, and Coloured Lights" - Contact and Connections: Travel and Mobility Studies Symposium - The University of Warwick - Thursday 27th June 2013
  • "Negotiating Borders in Betool Khedairi’s A Sky So Close" - Writing Beyond Borders - University of Manchester's School of Arts, Languages and Cultures Graduate School Inaugural Conference for 2013-2014 - The University of Manchester - Friday 20th September 2013
  • "Re-imagining Iran from a female perspective: Yasmin Crowther's The Saffron Kitchen" - British Culture after 9/11 - Teeside University - 27th June 2014
  • "Negotiating Borders in Betool Khedairi’s A Sky So Close" - Women in War and at War: Recent Developments - The University of Warwick - 18-19th September 2014
  • "Casting New Shadows and Unveiling Voices: Rediscovering the Iranian Women's Memoir Genre"- Gender and the Colonial: Centre for Gender Studies Conference - SOAS - 12-14 May 2015
  • "Casting New Shadows and Unveiling Voices: Rediscovering the Iranian Women's Memoir Genre" - Sex and Capital: 9th European Feminist Research Conference - University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland - 3-6 June 2015
  • "Casting New Shadows and Unveiling Voices: Rediscovering the Iranian Women's Memoir Genre"- Iran and the West: Converging Perspectives - The University of Warwick - 1 - 3 July 2015
  • "Censorship and Society" - Re-shaping the Learning Environment: IATL Funding for Staff - The University of Warwick - 14 December 2016
  • "'Death to freedom, death to captivity': Beyond Shahriar Mandanipour's 'Islamic' Love Story" - Politicised Sexualities and Marginalised Histories - Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration- CTDC and the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS University of London - 25 March 2017
  • "'Death to freedom, death to captivity': Beyond Shahriar Mandanipour's 'Islamic' Love Story" - Symposia Iranica - Pembroke College, Cambridge, 11-12 April 2017
  • The Unspoken and the Unspeakable: 1750 - present - Faculty of English, Cambridge, 22 April 2017.

Conference Chair:

  • 'Islam and Literature' - Islam and the West: A Love Story? - A Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Symposium - The University of Glasgow - 24th November 2012
  • 'Body Politic' - The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network - Queens University Belfast - 4-5th April 2013
  • 'Globalisation and Cultural Change' - Iran and the West: Converging Perspectives - The University of Warwick - 1 - 3 July 2015

Conference Organiser:

  • I organised a symposium in association with the Institute of Advanced Study and the Travel and Mobility Studies Research Network at The University of Warwick on Friday 11th July 2014. The symposium was entitled Travelling between the Centre and Periphery: Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora. The symposium was funded by IAS, HRC, and the Faculty of Arts.
  • I organised a Research Seminar in association with the Institute of Advanced Study and the Travel and Mobility Studies Research Network at The University of Warwick on Tuesday 5th May 2015. Dr Kai Easton (SOAS) delivered her paper "A Woman's Trek from the Cape to Cairo: Centralising Africa and the travels of Mary Hall".

 

Publications

  • Book Chapter: "'Death to freedom, death to captivity': Beyond Shahriar Mandanipour's 'Islamic' Love Story" in Iran and the West: Cultural Perceptions from the Sasanian Empire to the Islamic Republic. Edited by Dr David Bagot and Dr Margaux Whiskin. IB Tauris 2018
  • Peer Reviewed Journal Article: "Women in Exile: Islam and disempowerment in Fadia Faqir's My Name is Salma" - HARTS & Minds: The Bristol Journal of Humanities and Arts - Spring Edition - Against the Grain - Reimagining in the Humanities and Arts - 14 March 2013.
  • Book Review - Brooklyn Heights by Miral al-Tahawy - The Warwick Review - Friday 14th June 2013
  • Book Chapter: "Women in Exile: Islam and disempowerment in Fadia Faqir's My Name is Salma". Islam and the West: A Love Story? Edited by Dr Sumita Mukherjee and Dr Sadia Zulfiqar. April 2015.
  • Book Chapter: "Othering the Muslimah: "Islamiciz[ing] the process of writing back" in Leila Aboulela's The Translator and Minaret". Mapping the Self: Place, Identity, Nationality. Edited by Dr Nissa Parmar, Anna Hewitt and Professor Alex Goody. May 2015.

 

Profile Picture

Roxanne Bibizadeh

R.E.Bibizadeh@warwick.ac.uk

Roxanne.Bibizadeh@warwick.ac.uk

Office Hour:

Please email me for an appointment.

Publications:

Iran and the West

Islam and the West

Mapping the Self