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Parisa Vaziri

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature & Near Eastern Studies

Parisa Vaziri

Klarman Hall, Room 217

Educational Background

Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine


Parisa Vaziri received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from U.C. Irvine in 2018. Her work engages legacies of Indian Ocean world slavery in the long durée through prisms of visual media. Her research overlaps interests in critical theory, black studies, Middle Eastern cultural production, postcolonial critiques of history, film theory, new media, philosophy, anthropology, and histories of displinary formation more generally. Her current project recovers articulations of blackness in Iranian visual culture, primarily through the media of experimental documentary and art cinema. She proposes film as a site of transmission that disrupts traditional periodization schemes and that elucidates problems of temporality and geography in orthdox narratives about the concept of race. 

Two of her forthcoming publications position the history of experimental ethnographic documentary as supplement and stimulant to the Iranian New Wave film movement, while exploring how filmic blackness allegorizes modernity's spatial and temporal disjunctions. In 2016, she published "Windridden" on spirit rituals practiced by slave-descendent communities around the Persian Gulf, suggesting that belief systems such as zar simulate a metaphysical relation to history that pose questions for Western-derived assumptions of self, subjectivity, and historicity.  “Blackness and the Metaethics of the Object,” published in Rhizomes in 2016, explores the legacy of Frantz Fanon in current scholarly debates in black studies through an inquiry about the power of dissolution when methodological forces (poststructuralist theory and critiques of structural violence) converge.

Office Hours- Fall 2019


Courses taught

  • FWS: Slow Time: Chronopolitics of Iranian Cinema


  • Comparative Literature
  • Near Eastern Studies

Graduate Fields

  • Comparative Literature


Spring 2020



“Arb’ain and Bakhshu’s Lament: African Slavery in the Persian Gulf and the Violence of Cultural Form.” Antropologia: “Racial Questions: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Dynamics in Africa and the Middle East,” forthcoming.

“Pneumatics of Blackness: Nasir Taqvai’s Bad-i Jin and Modernism’s Anthropological Drive.” Persian Literature and Modernity: Production and Reception (Routledge), forthcoming.

“Windridden: On the Nonvalue of Nonidentification.” Liquid Blackness, vol. 3, no. 6, 2017, pp. 66-79.

“Blackness and the Metaethics of the Object.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge,  no. 29, 2016.