Dr. Nayereh Tohidi earned her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS (with Honors) from the University of Tehran in Psychology and Sociology. Her teaching and research areas include sociology of gender, religion (Islam), ethnicity and democracy in the Middle East and post-Soviet Central Eurasia, especially Iran and Azerbaijan Republic. She is the recipient of several grants, fellowships and research awards, including a year of Fulbright lectureship and research at the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan; post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University; the Hoover Institute of Stanford University; the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and the Keddie-Balzan Fellowship at the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA. She has held visiting positions at Universities of Iowa, Minnesota, Harvard, UCLA, and USC. Tohidi’s publications include editorship or authorship of: Globalization, Gender and Religion: The Politics of Women’s Rights in Catholic and Muslim Contexts; Women in Muslim Societies: Diversity within Unity; and Feminism, Democracy and Islamism in Iran.
Dr. Tohidi has been a consultant for the United Nations (UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, and WIDER) on projects concerning gender and development, and women and civil society building in the Middle East and post-Soviet Eurasia. She represented women NGOs at both the third and fourth World Conferences on Women in Nairobi (NGO Forum 1985) and Beijing (NGO Forum 1995) on gender issues in Iran and the post-Soviet Caucasus and Central Asia.
Professor Tohidi has integrated her human rights activism and community organizing with excellence in academic work and scholarship. She is frequently consulted by the media and invited to speak on women and gender issues, democracy and human rights in Islamic societies at community events and national and international conferences. In 2001, she ran a weekly radio program on “Women and Society in Iran” broadcast to Iran, Central Asia, and Europe through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Some of her writings and interviews have been translated and/or reprinted in other languages and in different countries, including Iran, Russia, France, Austria, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Britain, Spain, India, Japan, Lebanon, and Brazil.
- Ph.D., Educational Psychology (Socio-Cultural Perspectives), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
- MA, Educational Psychology (Human Development), University of Illinois, Urbana‑Champaign, 1979.
- BS, Psychology (Major), Sociology (Minor), University of Tehran, Iran, 1975, Graduation with Honors.
- Teacher Training Credential, California State University, Northridge, 1984-86.
Areas of Specialization
Gender, Islam, Feminism, Modernity and Democracy; Ethnicity and Ethno-Religious Movements; Human/Women Rights in the Persianate and Turkic Societies of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Fluent in Persian (and Tajik), Turkic (Azeri and Turkish), English, and Partial knowledge of Arabic, Russian, and Turkic of Central Asia.
Offices Held and Service to the University & Profession
- Chair, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, CSUN, 2006-2010.
- Coordinator, Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran, Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA, 2003-Present.
- Acting Chair, Department of Women’s Studies, CSUN, 2005.
- Chair, Personnel Committee, Women’s Studies Department, CSUN, 2010.
- Chair, Search Committee, Women’s Studies Department, CSUN, 2004-5.
- Nomination Committee, Central Eurasian Studies Society, 2003-2005.
- Member of the National Organizing Committee of the North American Universities Lecture Tours of Noble Laureate Shirin Ebadi, 2004-05.
- Program Committee Member, Middle East Studies Association, 1999.
- Board Member, Association for the Middle East Women’s Studies, 1998+.
- Council Member, International Society for Iranian Studies, 2003-2005.
- Advisory board of Japan’s Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, 2002+.
- Executive Board Member, Institute of Gender, Globalization and Democracy, CSUN, 1999-Present.
- Founding & Board Member, International Society for Azerbaijani Studies, 1995-1998.
- Member, Middle East Studies Association (MESA).
- Member, Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS).
- Member, National Education Association.
- Member, Pacific Sociological Association.
- Member, American Academy of Religion (AAR).
- Member, International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS).
- Member, Association for the Study of Nationalities.
- Member, Fulbright Foundation.
- Member, Committee on Gender Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 93-94.
- Member, Planning Board, Implementation of the Nairobi’s Forward-Looking Strategies, California State Polytechnic University, 1986-88.
- Member, Immigration Research Committee, USC, 1984-86.
Editorial/Advisory Board Member
- Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, housed at Harvard University.
- Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, housed at UCLA.
- Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (EWIC).
- Journal of Women’s Research, University of Tehran.
- Journal of Azerbaijani Studies, Baku, Azerbaijan.
- Journal of Genderology (Gender-Shinaslik Journali), Baku, Azerbaijan.
- Nimeh-ye Digar, Persian language feminist journal (1986-99), Boston, USA.
- KANKASH, Persian Journal on Sociology of Iran (1993-97).
Referee/Reviewer of Manuscripts and Research Proposals
- Review Panel for selection of Fellows of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2005.
- IREX grants.
- Radcliff Bunting Institute.
- Journal of Gender & Society.
- SIGNS (Journal of Women in Culture).
- Journal of Cultural Anthropology.
- Journal of Women’s History.
- Journal of Politics & Gender.
- Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies.
- Journal of Iranian Studies.
- Slavic Review: American Quarterly of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies.
- European Journal of Women’s Studies; and various university Presses.
Service to the Community & Human/Women’s Rights Advocacy:
- Working Board Member, Nobel Women Initiative: United for Peace with Justice and Equality, 2006+. link
- Member, the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws in Iran, 2006+.
- Advisory Board Member, the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign, 2006-2008. link
- The Ms. Committee of Scholars, Ms. Magazine, 2006+.
- Member of the Committee for Academic and Intellectual Freedom of the ISIS, 2002+.
- Society for Human Rights in Iran, Southern California, 2006+.
- Advisory Committee Member of the “Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Initiative,” the Stanford Center for Conflict and Negotiation and Foundation for Global Community, Stanford, 1993-1996.
- Member, Amnesty International, 1998+.
- Member, Human Rights Watch, 2005+.
- Member, Human Rights First, 2005+.
- Director and Founding Member of the International Committee for Women’s Rights in Iran (coordinating 43 chapters in the US, Canada, Europe, India, Pakistan, etc. and Editor of its journal Women & Struggle in Iran), 1982-85.