Soundtrack of the Post-Revolution

Music as Politics in Iran

Nahid Siamdoust will talk about her forthcoming book, which follows the work of four musicians – a giant of Persian classical music, a rebel rock and roller, an underground rapper, and a government supported pop-star – each with markedly different political views and relations with the state. Her research demonstrates how these musicians each devise strategies for conveying their politically and socially critical messages to their audiences while retaining their authenticity in the face of restrictions. Each chapter studies in greater depth a specific time period so that, taken together, “Soundtrack of the Post-Revolution” offers a chronological overview of music as an alternative public sphere in the Islamic Republic.

Event Information


Thursday, March 26th, 2015


Richard Ettinghausen Library
Kevorkian Centre
50 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

The speaker

Nahid Siamdoust

Nahid Siamdoust is currently a research scholar at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University. She obtained her doctorate in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford in 2013. Her dissertation examines the field of music production as a politically charged public sphere in post-revolutionary Iran.
Titled “Iran’s Troubled Tunes: Music as Politics in the Islamic Republic,” it won the prizes for best dissertation in her field from the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies as well as the Middle East Studies Association. Her book “The Politics of Music in Iran” is forthcoming from Stanford University Press in 2016. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from Barnard College, and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. Before returning to academia and concurrently with her studies, Nahid worked as a full-time Iran and Middle East based journalist for TIME Magazine, Der Spiegel, and Al Jazeera English TV. Her academic research focuses on the intersection between politics, culture and media (music included) in Iran and the wider Middle East.