This roundtable discussion, co-convened by the WCAA Ethics Taskforce and the WCAA-IUAES Working Group on Anthropological Fieldwork and Risk in a Violent World, elicits Professor Homa Hoodfar’s reflections on academic freedom and on her recent incarceration in Iran.
This conversation with Professor Homa Hoodfar, jointly convened by the WCAA Ethics Taskforce and the WCAA-IUAES Working Group on Anthropological Fieldwork and Risk in a Violent World, builds on the discussion of 'dangerous' fieldwork begun at the 2016 IUAES Inter-Congress through the consideration of a specific recent experience. Professor Hoodfar, an anthropologist noted for her contributions to Middle Eastern Studies, was detained in Tehran's infamous Evin prison for a period of 112 days from 6th June to 26th September 2016 on fabricated charges of acting against the Iranian state. Her prosecutor also accused her of "dabbling in feminism". Speaking to Chandana Mathur, Faye Harrison and Rosita Henry, Professor Hoodfar will offer her thoughts about the risks associated with anthropological research and the ways in which world anthropologists can engage in concrete actions to promote and defend academic freedom. It is also an opportunity to learn more details of her experience as an ethnographic witness and participant observer of political persecution and the carceral state in Iran from a transnational and feminist perspective.