MESA Book Awards

Sima Shakhsari

University of Minnesota

2021 Fatema Mernissi Book Award Honorable Mention

Sima Shakhsari

Sima Shakhsari

Politics of Rightful Killing: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan
Duke University Press

In this innovative and exciting book, Shakhsari draws on online and offline ethnography to examine and complicate our understanding of Weblogistan, the term they use to refer both to the online world of Persian-language blogging and the “real” worlds the diaspora bloggers inhabit. Shakhsari shows both how Western powers often infiltrate Weblogistan to promote oppositional voices that push for “regime change”, and how the bloggers themselves often privilege specific ideas about gender and sexuality and about the relationship between these forms of gender and sexuality and Iranian politics and activism. The book juxtaposes the Western celebration of anti-regime bloggers with the relentless and brutal sanctions imposed on the Iranian population that gives rise to the notion of “rightful killing.”

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