I am of Iranian origin, and began my studies in Tehran before moving to France with a grant to pursue a Ph.D. in anthropology. My area of research is Iran, Persianate societies, and the Middle East more generally. In my doctoral fieldwork and also in subsequent fieldwork journeys, I have been mostly concerned with an ethnographic understanding of death and dying among a group of traditional pastoral nomads in the Southwest of Iran, called the Bakhtiari. In my doctoral thesis I explored themes closely related to the material and visual culture of death, namely, through an analysis of objects, artefacts and especially, tombstones, as well as the techniques implied in their creation and manipulation among the Bakhtiari. Besides working on such topics, which also included funerary rites, arts and mortuary beliefs, my research has been further motivated by an interest in visual piety, devotional artefacts, and religious material culture in the Middle East more broadly. I am particularly interested in understandings of memory, loss, and death, and their relation to material landscapes and visual representations.
- Dept. of Social Anthropology, - Uni. of St Andrews