Field of Interest:
Claudia Yaghoobi is Roshan Institute Associate Professor and director of the Center for the Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Yaghoobi is a scholar of Iranian cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies with a focus on the members of sexual, ethnic, and religious minoritized populations. She is the author of “Transnational Culture in the Iranian Armenian Diaspora” (forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press, 2023), Temporary Marriage in Iran: Gender and Body Politics in Modern Persian Literature and Film (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and Subjectivity in ‘Attar, Persian Sufism, and European Mysticism (Purdue University Press, 2017). She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2013. She teaches courses on Iranian literature and culture, Middle Eastern literature, gender and sexuality, diaspora studies, and human rights. As an Iranian-Armenian-American, Yaghoobi’s research concerns the literature of the Middle East with a special focus on Persian and Armenian literature. Within Persian literature and culture, her focus is on the members of sexual, ethnic, and religious minority populations, ones marginalized by normative society. Her work addresses the embodiments of liminality through which authors, artists, and directors challenge and critique social hegemonies. Her first monograph, Subjectivity in ‘Attar, reassesses the significance of the concept of transgression and construction of subjectivity within select works of the medieval Persian Sufi poet Farid al-Din ‘Attar Nishapuri (1145-1221). She traces the intersections of transgression, law, inclusion and exclusion, self and the other, in ʿAttar’s treatment of class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Her second monograph, Temporary Marriage in Iran, examines the representation of sigheh (temporary marriage) in modern Iranian cultural productions. However, the book moves beyond the literary and cinematic realms and examines in depth a rather controversial social institution that has been the subject of disdain for many Iranian feminists, and that has captured the imagination of many Western observers. Her third book, “Transnational Culture,” examines the various creative ways that Iranian-Armenian authors and artists, as members of religious and cultural minority populations of Iran and later in the diaspora in the United States, craft and negotiate a unique notion of self—one that is at odds with the wish to be integrated into mainstream society—while maintaining ties with the homeland.