Reception, Discussion & Film Screening of "Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile" - In Conjunction With The Iranian Diaspora In Global Perspective Conference

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Limited space and RSVP required by Feb. 14, 2023. Please note, a separate RSVP is needed for the two-day conference. Unauthorized filming of any proceedings is prohibited.

In conjunction with the Iranian Diaspora in Global Perspective conference, join us for an evening honoring a pioneer of Iranian diaspora studies (and UCLA alum), Dr. Hamid Naficy.  Following a welcome reception, the evening begins with a screening of Maryam Sepehri's film, Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile, a "documentary portrait that packs a powerful punch elucidating the complexities of personal identity in a globalized world," followed by a live conversation between Dr. Naficy, Dr. Kevan Harris, and Dr. Amy Malek.

The Conference is the culmination of a collaboration between three institutional co-sponsors: the Center for Near Eastern Studies at University of California, Los Angeles; the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University; and the Iranian & Persian Gulf Studies Program at Oklahoma State University.


Reception & Film Schedule

Thursday, February 16, 2023

5:30 – 6:30 PM  Reception
Fowler Museum Welcome Remarks by Dr. Ali Behdad (UCLA) and Dr. Amy Landau (UCLA)
Elizabeth and W. Thomas Davis Courtyard

6:30 – 7:30 PM Screening of Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile
Fowler Museum  (dir. Maryam Sepehri, 61 minutes)
Lenart Auditorium

7:30 – 8:30 PM Hamid Naficy: A Life in Diaspora
Fowler Museum  Dr. Hamid Naficy (Northwestern University) in conversation with  
Lenart Auditorium Dr. Amy Malek (Oklahoma State University) and Dr. Kevan Harris (UCLA)


Join us for an evening honoring Hamid Naficy—scholar, filmmaker, writer, and pioneer of Iranian diaspora studies. This event is organized in conjunction with the “Iranian Diaspora in Global Perspective” conference hosted at UCLA. A courtyard reception at the Fowler will precede the screening of Maryam Sepehri’s 2017 film Mouth Harp in Minor Key: Hamid Naficy in/on Exile.  A moderated conversation between Naficy, UCLA sociology professor Kevan Harris, and sociocultural anthropologist Amy Malek will follow. 

Kevan Harris is an associate professor of sociology at UCLA, studies  social change in the global South. Harris’s first book, A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran, was published by the University of California Press. Together with Jan Breman, Ching Kwan Lee, and Marcel van der Linden, he  co-edited The Social Question in the Twenty-First Century: A Global View. Harris’s current research projects focus on welfare politics in low and middle-income countries; state formation in West Asia and North Africa; business-state relations in post-revolutionary Iran; and class and social mobility in Iran before and after 1979.

Amy Malek is assistant professor of global studies and the chair/director of the Iranian & Persian Gulf studies program at Oklahoma State University. Malek is a sociocultural anthropologist specializing in the intersections of migration, citizenship, and culture in the Iranian diaspora. Malek’s research and teaching interests include migration studies; diaspora and transnationalism; memory; and visual culture with an emphasis on Iranian and Middle Eastern communities in North America and Europe. Her current book project is a transnational ethnography of the impacts of cultural policies on diasporic Iranian communities in Sweden, Canada, and the United States. 

Hamid Naficy is a leading authority in cultural studies of diaspora, exile, and postcolonial cinemas and media; and of Iranian and Middle Eastern cinemas and media. His pioneering work on Iranian exilic media in Los Angeles laid the foundation for the growing field of global Iranian diaspora studies. Born and raised in Iran, Naficy attended USC and UCLA for his postgraduate education. He is part of the generation that witnessed the modernization of Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which propelled him into exile. In Mouth Harp in Minor Key, filmmaker Maryam Sepehri documents Naficy’s life in the US, far from his family in Iran, offering a timely view of the experience of exile prompted by political and social unrest. 

The Fowler exhibition Amir H. Fallah: The Fallacy of Borders will be open to the public that evening. 

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Published: Monday, February 20, 2023