Women Poets Iranica:
Editorial Team


Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi

Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, the Inaugural Director of the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies, is Professor of Historical Studies, History, and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. He was the founding Chair of the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto-Mississauga (2004-07) and has served as President of the International Society for Iranian Studies (2008-10). In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (2001-2012), a Duke University Press journal, he was the Editor of Iran Nameh (2011-2015). He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Iran Namag, a bilingual quarterly of Iranian Studies, and is the co-editor of the Iranian Studies book series published by Routledge. Tavakoli is the author of Refashioning Iran: Orientalism, Occidentalism and Historiography (Palgrave, 2001) and Tajaddud-i Bumi [Vernacular Modernity] (Nashr-i Tarikh, 2003). Together with providing critical introductions in Persian, he has edited the volumes Civilizational Wisdom: Selected Works of Ehsan Yarshater (Toronto: Iran Namaeh Books, 2015); Jahangir Amuzgar: Selected Economic Essays (Toronto: Iran Nameh Books, 2015); and Ayin-i Danishjuyan: The First University of Tehran Student Journal (Toronto: Iran Nameh Books, 2016). Additionally, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Cinema & Women Poets Iranica: Digital Research Compendia. Tavakoli has published numerous historiographical articles in English and Persian on the topics of Iranian modernity, matriarchal nationalism, biopolitics, rights governmentality, and clerico-engineering. He is currently completing a monograph, Pathologizing Iran, which explores the emergence of modern diagnostic historical narratives and prognostic conceptions of politics. Tavakoli-Targhi is the recipient of two Outstanding Teacher awards from Illinois State University (1996 and 2001) and has held visiting fellowships at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University (1998), the Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi, 1992–93); and Harvard University (1991–92). He holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in History from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.
Associate Editor

Azita H. Taleghani

Azita H. Taleghani is an Associate Professor in Persian language, literature, and linguistics at the University of Toronto. Her research has primarily focused on second-language learners and heritage speakers’ pedagogy, linguistic approaches in modern Persian literature, especially stylistic aspects in the poems of Persian women poets, Persian syntax, and morphology, as well as web-based and online language teaching. She is the associate editor and a member of the editorial board of Women Poets Iranica. She has published a monograph titled Modality, Aspect and Negation in Persian. She is currently working on a monograph, “Grammar of Persian Simple Verbs for Persian Second-Language Learners” and co-editing the volume, “Persian Second Language Pedagogy: New Trends and Innovations.” The two other projects that she has recently started to concentrate on take up language and style in the poems of contemporary Iranian women poets, as well as social deconstruction in the poems of ancient and medieval Iranian women poets. She has published several refereed articles, most recently, “Archaism as an Aesthetic Technique and Linguistics Process,” “Negative Forms of Persian Progressive Tense: Evidence from Monolingual, Second Language Learners and Heritage Speakers,” “Foregrounding and Its Role in Persian Modern Poetry,” “Persian Progressive Tense: Serial Verb Construction or Aspectual Complex Predicate,” and “Persian Linguistics in the 20th Century.”
Associate Editor

Rivanne Sandler

With a University of Toronto General B.A, I was accepted into a three-year M.A. in the newly established (1961) Department of Islamic Studies (now Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations (NMC)). The expanded one-year M.A. included two years of make-up courses in the Islamic Studies undergraduate program. Language proficiency for graduate research was required for graduate study and in addition to the requisite Arabic, I chose Persian and Persian medieval history and culture taught by UK immigrants to the University of Toronto from the British tradition of study of the Middle East, Professors Michael Wickens (Trinity College, Cambridge) and Roger Savory (School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London). Persian was the source language for my thesis on “Religion and Politics Under the First Two Tughluqs, as viewed in the contemporary traditional sources, with special reference to Barani.” (Supervisors: Professor Aziz Ahmad and Professor G. Michael Wickens). Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies, the focus of the Department of Islamic Studies was the study of medieval Arab, Persian and Turkish history, language, literature, and culture; its program was based on a concept of the medieval Middle East as an entity linked by a common Islamic heritage. I was a Teaching Fellow in the U of T Department of Islamic Studies, an Instructor, a Lecturer, an Assistant Professor and became an Associate Professor in 1978. As a junior appointment, I made the choice to focus my teaching on the modern Middle East and to introduce literature as a source of social history. This was facilitated by an escalating availability of English translations of modern Arabic and Turkish and Persian prose as well as poetry. Literature was a prominent feature of the course syllabi for all the courses I taught such as Middle Eastern Society: Traditional and Modern, Modern Middle Eastern Literatures: A Mirror of Society, Women’s Stories of the Middle East. The students in my courses were curious to learn about a part of the world they were not exposed to in Toronto public or high school curricula or in newspapers and magazines. The influx of Iranian students following the Iranian Revolution of 1979 provided a constituency for courses on Iran and literature in the original Persian. Readings in Modern Persian Literature (in the original Persian) catered to native speakers. The Iranian Short Story in Translation, Iranian Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century, Readings in Modern Persian Literature in Translation were available to the larger undergraduate student population. At the graduate level where Arabic, Turkish and Persian studies became distinct, I offered Literature and Society in 20th c. Iran (in the original Persian), and Persian Literature in the Diaspora. In retirement, I offer a course that I did not previously offer which focuses on the memoirs (originally in Persian and available in English) of Iranian Women: Iranian Women Reveal their Lives: The First Generation.

The theses I supervised reflect the broad academic training I received as a graduate student and were specifically focused on women’s poetry (“Gulten Akin, A Pioneering Turkish Woman Poet: An Analysis of Her Life, Poetry and Poetics Within Their Social, Historical and Literary Context” (defended 2001) and women in their social setting (“The New Armenian Woman’s Writing in the Ottoman Empire, 1880-1915” (defended 2000). I served as a co-supervisor for the thesis of the well-known poet Saeed Ghahremani whose granting department was the U of T Centre for Comparative Literature.

I consider as part of my education and research the three trips I made to Iran in the 1970s: three months travelling throughout Iran (except the south) in 1971, two months during 1974, living with a family in Tehran and attending a language school, and in 1976, a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum archeological site near Kermanshah. All three visits provided an opportunity to enlarge the range of society portrayed in literature.

Managing Editor

Shabnam Golkhandan

Shabnam Golkhandan is Manager of the Tavakoli Archives and Managing Editor of the Cinema Iranica and Women Poets projects at the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies. Shabnam is also a doctoral candidate at the Department of History of Art at Yale University. Previously, she held research fellowships at the Yale University Art Gallery and before that in the National Museum of Asian Art Archive at the Smithsonian. Her academic history includes an MA in the history of the Modern Middle East and a BA in Art History, both from University of Toronto. Shabnam’s academic interests include, along with the broader subject of the history of the Modern Middle East, the historiography of Islamic art, the intermingling of text and image in the pictorial arts of the Middle East through the centuries, and the relationship between photography, painting, and print in the last half of 19th century in Iran. Her diverse experiences have afforded her a globally aware frame of reference steeped in vernacular modes of inquiry and practice in places such as Cairo, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Tabriz, Tehran, Mashhad, and Bombay.
Women Poet Iranica Coordinator

Abolfazl Moshiri

Abolfazl Moshiri is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, where he also serves as the research associate and coordinator for the Women Poet Iranica Project at the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies. He received his PhD from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto in 2021. His broad area of research includes Persian mystical literature, antinomian and heterodox Sufism, and the intellectual history of the Persianate world from the 10th to the 16th century. At the University of Toronto, he has also taught undergraduate courses on classical Persian literature and culture. His publications have appeared in journals such as Iranian Studies (2014), Iran Namag (2021), and the series Christian-Muslim Relations: Primary Sources 600-1914 (2023).

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis is a Research Affiliate with the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies and holds a PhD in Education from the University of Toronto and an MA in Political Science from McGill University. She researches the intersection of culture, politics, and media, focusing on the role of affect and aesthetics in the reproduction of formations of race, gender, and sexuality. She is the co-editor of Affective Politics of Digital Media (Routledge 2021) and has published articles in the fields of visual culture studies; aesthetics and politics; media studies; and affect theory. Her scholarly work can be found in Theory & Event, Emotion, Space and Society, The Senses and Society, and Cultural Studies. Elizabeth has worked in the fields of diversity and inclusion, accessibility accommodation, grant writing, and non-profit administration. She is a Lecturer in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Education at the University of Toronto.

David R. Anderson

David R. Anderson is a Research Affiliate with the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies. David is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University. His dissertation, Seeing Otherwise: Nature, Blindness, Memoir, examines memoirs written by blind, queer, black, and women authors in order to evidence how non-dominant, marginalized, and ecologically-oriented sensoriums—particularly non-visual senses like hearing, smell, and touch—can promote more just political, social, and environmental collectivities. David is a Lecturer in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Toronto and has worked for The Intersectionality Research Hub (Concordia University) and the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology (University of Toronto). David’s most recent work has been published in Feminist Formations and Disability Studies Quarterly.
Editorial Consultant & Translator

Hamid Rezaeiyazdi

Hamoun Hayati

Hamoun Hayati is a web designer with the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Toronto. He studied electrical engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University. Hamoun is the founder of the Toronto-based web studio, Hexpace, and has over a decade’s worth of experience working on web design and development projects with clients across different sectors. He is deeply passionate about the future of work and education and using technology to solve real-world problems.

Bilal Hashmi

Bilal Hashmi is a Research Affiliate with the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Toronto. Trained in English and comparative literature (at U of T and New York University, respectively), he is an editor, translator, and educator, who has taught widely in Canada and the United States, most recently as an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Language Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga, and as a Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Virginia. Bilal is a consulting editor with Iran Namag and is presently at work on book-length translations of twentieth-century Persian poetry and prose. In 2018, he was selected to participate in the inaugural Persian to English translation workshop offered through the British Centre for Literary Translation’s International Literary Translation & Creative Writing Summer School at the University of East Anglia. He serves as the President of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada/Association des traducteurs et traductrices littéraires du Canada.