Cover for NASHAT: Women in Iran from the Rise of Islam to 1800. Click for larger image

Women in Iran from the Rise of Islam to 1800

Awards and Recognition:

A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2005.

The history of the role of women in Iranian society and culture dispelling modern myths of women in Islamic Iran

Combining scholarship from a range of disciplines, this collection of essays is a comprehensive examination of the role of women in Iranian society and culture, from pre-Islamic times to 1800. The contributors challenge common assumptions about women in Iran and Islam. Sweeping away modern myths, these essays show that women have had significant influence in almost every area of Iranian life.

Focusing on a region wider than today's nation-state of Iran, this book explores developments in the spheres that most affect women: gender constructs, family structure, community roles, education, economic participation, Islamic practices and institutions, politics, and artistic representations.

The contributors to this volume are prominent international scholars working in this field, and each draws on decades of research to address the history of Iranian women within the context of his or her area of expertise. This broad framework allows for a thorough and nuanced examination of the history of a complex society.

"This balanced, well-written collection shows the enormous diversity of life for Iranian women throughout history and within different social groups."--Janet Afary, author of The Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906-11: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy, and the Origins of Feminism


Guity Nashat is an associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of The Origins of Modern Reform in Iran, 1870-1880, the editor of Women and Revolution in Iran, and the coauthor of Women in the Middle East and North Africa. Lois Beck is a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of Nomad: A Year in the Life of a Qashqa'i Tribesman in Iran and The Qashqa'i of Iran and coeditor of Women in the Muslim World.

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