*Update: 26 September 2016 – Homa Hoodfar has been freed from prison!*
Anthropologist Homa Hoodfar has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a month. An Iranian-Canadian professor of Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, Homa travelled to Iran in February to visit family and conduct archival research. After repeated questioning by the intelligence services and the seizure of her passport, Homa was arrested on June 6th and charged with ‘cooperating with a foreign state.’ We understand that Homa does not have access to her family, medicine, or a lawyer.
Several of us at Sussex know Homa personally, and many more admire and teach her scholarship. We join the effort of Homa’s family, friends, and colleagues to draw public attention to her plight.
For more information about Homa and her imprisonment, including statements of solidarity from the American Anthropological Association, the World Council of Anthropological Associations, and Islamic scholars, visit the dedicated site set up by friends and family.
Please sign the petition #FreeHomaHoodfar Petition for Academics and Authors.
Homa is an expert on sexuality and gender in Muslim societies, and she has written extensively on law, rights, economy, and development. Her ethnography of low-income women in Cairo, Between Marriage and the Market, is a groundbreaking work of economic anthropology that explores the role of the household in family survival under conditions of economic hardship. Her dedication to exploring the politics of gender continues into her later works on the veil in Western society.
Homa’s article, ‘The Veil in Their Minds and on Our Heads: The Persistence of Colonial Images of Muslim Women’ has been republished many times, and deserves the status of ‘required reading’ for all students of anthropology, gender studies, and Middle Eastern studies.
For more ways to get involved with the struggle to free Homa, including template letters calling on the Canadian authorities to intervene, please visit this site.