Virtual ProgramMonday, October 18

11-01 Dynamics of Belief and Practice in the Ritual Context: Five Cases from Contemporary Iran

Monday, October 18, 9:30 am–11:00 am

  session will be recorded and available for later viewing online

Sponsored by the Folk Belief and Religious Folklife Section


Chair: Afsane Rezaei (Utah State University) and Ehsan Estiri (Utah State University)

9:30 am
Zâr: A Vernacular Illness
Azadeh Najafian ()

9:45 am
A Study of Dramatic Aspects in Phorkhani Ritual
Negar Noofeli ()

10:00 am
There Was a Door to Which I Found No Key: Resistance, Performance, and Cultural Revival in Khayami Folk Music
Ehsan Mohammadi (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

10:15 am
What Counts as Singing in Public? Making Room for Women’s Solo Singing in Iran
Zahra Abedinezhad Mehrabadi (The Ohio State University)

10:30 am
Ashura Nazri: A Food Donation’s Ritual
Mahdi Khaksar (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

This panel brings together four ethnographic cases from contemporary Iran to discuss the complex nature of ritual practices in both urban and rural settings. Complicating the dominance of [Islamic] religious belief in the study of Iranian rituals, presenters focus on the performative, musical, social, and political nature of the events as practiced in different parts of the country and among various folk groups. The papers also speak to the dynamics of gender and power in the ritual, addressing how women have appropriated or maintained a central role in the traditional or contemporary practice.