keynote speaker: Professor Dr. Minoo Derayeh

Iranian Women’s Literary Contributions

The cultural productions of Iranian women scholars, novelists, and even those in the movie industry in Iran have not received sufficient attention from western scholars, more specifically from those in search of an Islamic feminism. The recent scholarship branded as Islamic feminism has homogenized Iranian women and failed to provide a forum for those Iranian women wanting to express their defiance of gendered laws in a nonreligious and non-western oriented voice. 
During the past three decades, some women in Iran have been active in poetry, novel and short story writing. Their cultural production since 1998 offers a new voice concerning women’s status, rights, roles, as well as their social, political and economic contributions within the existing cultural and social spheres. 
In this discussion I explore some Iranian women’s efforts in challenging the dominant culture through their efforts theorized in the slogan:  “I act, therefore, I am.” The tenet of my theoretical framework is also based on this slogan and shows that a select works of Iranian women’s literary production has no ties with any western theories (Islamic feminism included), it is outside of any religion based paradigms, and it is completely detached from any male-oriented theories or movements.