The Blue Feeling of Death and the Art of Forgiveness in Iran


Marshall Building, Room 490
845 N. Park Ave.
85721 Tucson , AZ


Fri, 04/12/2019 - 3:00pm to Wed, 05/25/2022 - 5:22am


Part of the Spring 2019 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series

Arzoo Osanloo, Director of the Middle East Center, Associate Professor in the Department of Law, Societies, and Justice, University of Washington

By examining one drama troupe’s traveling performances of morality theater, this talk examines the work of the performing arts and artists in efforts to change cultural attitudes about the death penalty in Iran, particularly as it relates to underage executions. This talk will focus also examine how artistic performances shift and shape the moral consciences and public personas of actors, directors, social workers, and even government workers involved in such efforts.


Arzoo Osanloo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Law, Societies, and Justice and the Director of the Middle East Center at the University of Washington, Seattle. She holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and a JD from The American University, Washington College of Law. She is the author of The Politics of Women’s Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press, 2009), which analyzes the politicization of women’s “rights talk” in Iran. She has recently completed her manuscript Codifying Mercy: Forgiveness Work and Victim’s Rights in Iranian Criminal Sanctioning (Princeton University Press, forthcoming), which examines the Muslim mandates of forgiveness, compassion, and mercy as they take shape through Iran’s criminal justice system. Her other publications appear in edited volumes and peer-reviewed academic journals, including American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Political and Legal Anthropology, and Iranian Studies. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections of law and cultural practice, especially with respect to human rights. Prior to her academic work, she worked as an immigration and asylum lawyer and focused on refugee rights.

Co-sponsored by Roshan GIDP