• Date and time: Tuesday 28 February 2023, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Book tickets

Event details

York Ideas Lecture

Since Jina Mahsa Amini’s tragic death in police custody in September 2022, widespread protests have been taking place in Iran, to which Iranian authorities have responded with force, leading to condemnation and impositions of sanctions by Western governments and organisations. Concern continues to rise as the Iranian regime’s response is increasingly getting more violent - with more arrests being made and protestors being executed.

But what exactly is happening in Iran? What is the significance of the current demonstrations and what has the international response been? What events and factors have led to this moment and how can reflecting on Iran’s historical developments help us understand the present situation? And, looking ahead, what will real change look like?

This important and timely discussion with International Relations expert Shabnam Holliday (University of Plymouth) and historian Ali Ansari (University of St Andrews) aims to shed light on the current situation in Iran within the context of the country’s political heritage and history, while also trying to take the conversation one step further by imagining what a future for Iran might look like.

About the speakers

Shabnam Holliday is Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Plymouth. Her main area of research is Iranian political identity, and the relationship between political identity and Iran’s relations with other actors. Shabnam advocates the need to study Iran’s heritage and historical experience to understand key shifts and processes in contemporary Iranian politics.

Ali Ansari is Professor of Iranian History and Founding Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews. He is also Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and President of the British Institute of Persian Studies. His research interests include the development of the State in Iran in the modern era, with a particular focus on nationalism, mythology and the use (and abuse) of history. He is also interested in the politics and history of the Islamic Republic and the broader relations of Britain and the United States with Iran.