A book talk and conversation about Iranian women’s rights activism across borders. Axis of Hope recounts feminist activists’ struggles in Iran and the diaspora, and examines how Iranian women’s rights activists have cultivated ways of thinking of and being with each other that rupture the relentless difference-making and violence of coloniality through local and transnational networks along axes of feminist solidarity, friendship, and love. Crucial to countering despair and cynicism about Iran as well as the dangerous interventions by Western powers “on behalf of” Iranians, activists’ experiences speak to the possibilities and challenges of transnational alliances in confronting oppressive regimes.
Catherine Z. Sameh is an assistant professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her work explores transnational feminist social movements, women’s rights activism in the Middle East and Muslim world, gender and Islam, and feminist responses to Islamophobia. She was the Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Research on women in New York from 2010-2014, and was a co-founder of In Other Words Women’s Books and Resources in Portland, Oregon.