During the biennial conference of the International Society for Iranian Studies held in Istanbul, Turkey (August 2-4, 2012), it was announced that the following two books published by Syracuse Univer- sity Press are the co-winners of the Latifeh Yarshater Book Award presented by the International Society of Iranian Studies.

Words, Not Swords
Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement Farzaneh Milani

Words, Not Swords explores the legacy of sex segregation and its manifestations in Iranian literature and film and in notions of beauty and the erotics of passivity. Milani expands her argument beyond Iranian culture, arguing that freedom of movement is a theme that crosses frontiers and dissolves conventional distinctions of geography, history, and religion. She makes bold connections between veil- ing and foot binding, between Cinderella and Barbie, between the figures of the female Gypsy and the witch. In so doing, she challenges cultural hierarchies that divert attention from key issues in the control of women across the globe.

Farzaneh Milani is professor of Persian Literature and Studies in Women and Gender at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Veils and Words: The Emerging Voice of Iranian Women Writers and the coeditor and translator of A Cup of Sin: Selected Poems by Simin Behbahani.

Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran
The Life and Legacy of a Popular Female Artist Kamran Talattof

Exploring the life and times of Shahrzad, a dancer, actress, filmmaker, and poet, Talattof illu- minates the country’s struggle with modernity and the ideological, traditional, and religious resistance against it. Born in 1946, she performed in several theater productions, became an acclaimed film star in the 1970s, and pursued a career as a journalist and poet. Following the revolution, she was imprisoned and eventually became homeless on the streets of Tehran. Her success and persecution as a female artist and entertainer illustrate the conflict between modernity and tradition and the Iranian regime’s unwill- ingness to permit an overt expression of sexuality. Talattof also profiles several other female artists of the 1970s, analyzing their lives and work as windows through which to examine what Iranian culture allowed and what it repudiated.

A pioneering and timely work, Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran explores the integral role of popular culture and female artists in the shaping of modern Iran, laying down a new approach in understanding such crucial concepts as ideology and modernity.

Kamran Talattof is professor of Persian and Iranian studies at the University of Arizona. He is the author, coauthor, and coeditor of numerous books and articles. Among his publications are The Politics of Writing in Iran: A History of Modern Persian Literature and the coedited book The Poetry of Nizami Ganjavi: Knowledge, Love, and Rhetoric.