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Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies

Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies REVIEW Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies Staci Gem Scheiwiller London: Routledge, 2017 240 pages. ISBN 9781138201293 Reviewed by FARSHID KAZEMI In Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies, Staci Gem Scheiwiller foregrounds the representation of bodies and desire in Qajar photography as a lens through which to read questions of gender, sexuality, and race in nineteenth-century Iran. Methodologically, Scheiwiller has extensively used a rich collection of images from archival sources in Iran, Europe, and the United States alongside secondary works on Qajar photography. Theoretically, the text employs Homi Bhabha’s work in postcolonial theory, while engaging productively with Afsaneh Najmabadi’s Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Moder- nity (2005). Scheiwiller reads these photographs through the prism of desire, and justifies this approach against possible neo-Orientalist accusations of “framing the Middle East in terms of sexuality,” with “two points: (1) photographs illustrating persons revolve around interpretations of the human body; and (2) if the body is the main focus of particular pho- tographs, such as portraits, ethnographic studies, and erotica, then the representation of the body has the potential to provide information about gender, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Middle East Women's Studies Duke University Press

Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies

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Copyright
Copyright © 2020 by the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies
ISSN
1552-5864
eISSN
1558-9579
DOI
10.1215/15525864-8016505
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

REVIEW Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies Staci Gem Scheiwiller London: Routledge, 2017 240 pages. ISBN 9781138201293 Reviewed by FARSHID KAZEMI In Liminalities of Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Iranian Photography: Desirous Bodies, Staci Gem Scheiwiller foregrounds the representation of bodies and desire in Qajar photography as a lens through which to read questions of gender, sexuality, and race in nineteenth-century Iran. Methodologically, Scheiwiller has extensively used a rich collection of images from archival sources in Iran, Europe, and the United States alongside secondary works on Qajar photography. Theoretically, the text employs Homi Bhabha’s work in postcolonial theory, while engaging productively with Afsaneh Najmabadi’s Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Moder- nity (2005). Scheiwiller reads these photographs through the prism of desire, and justifies this approach against possible neo-Orientalist accusations of “framing the Middle East in terms of sexuality,” with “two points: (1) photographs illustrating persons revolve around interpretations of the human body; and (2) if the body is the main focus of particular pho- tographs, such as portraits, ethnographic studies, and erotica, then the representation of the body has the potential to provide information about gender,

Journal

Journal of Middle East Women's StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2020

References