The 1979 Iranian Revolution enabled conservative women previously limited in mobility to partake in building a Shia revolutionary state by expanding access to women’s seminaries to a degree unparalleled in the history of Shia Islam. I lived in Iran for fifteen months to explore the consequences for some of the howzevi (seminarian) women. I draw on their ethnography as students, mothers, daughters, wives, developers of social and educational programs for a postrevolution society, and vanguards of a state with the maxim to derail Western political domination in the Middle East. Five howzevi women were students of the Supreme Leader and Chief Justice of Iran, and over twenty-one were members of the Basij, Iran’s volunteer paramilitary organization. This work is positioned at the intersection of the state, Islamic education, and the Iranian women’s movement, in which women use Islamic...
The Howzevi (Seminarian) Women in Iran: Constituting and Reconstituting Paths
AMINA TAWASIL is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University. She received her PhD in anthropology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2013. She also co-organized the Power of Women’s Islamic Education workshop as a fellow of the Center for the Study of Social Differences’ Women Creating Change project at Columbia University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amina Tawasil; The Howzevi (Seminarian) Women in Iran: Constituting and Reconstituting Paths. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 July 2015; 11 (2): 258–259. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15525864-2889189
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