Pardis Mahdavi

Pardis Mahdavi, PhD is currently the Acting Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Before coming to Denver, she was at Pomona College from 2006-2017 where she most recently served as professor and chair of anthropology, director of the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College, as well as Dean of Women. Her research interests include academic freedom, diversity and inclusion in higher education, gendered labor, human trafficking, migration, sexuality, human rights, youth culture, transnational feminism and public health in the context of changing global and political structures. She has published five single authored books and one edited volume in addition to numerous journal and news articles. She has been a fellow at the Social Sciences Research Council, the American Council on Learned Societies, Google Ideas, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 

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Trafficking in Fiction Versus Trafficking Facts

By Pardis Mahdavi (Associate Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College) for the Provocations series, in conjunction with UCI’s “The Future of Truth” conference There is an age-old problem relating to truthfulness that seems to be rearing its head again in troubling ways. During my time conducting fieldwork in Iran, people often ridiculed a sharia-based decree that states that if there is an earthquake and a man from an upstairs apartment “falls into” a woman from a downstairs apartment, and

Crossing the Gulf: Love and Family in Migrant Lives

The lines between what constitutes migration and what constitutes human trafficking are messy at best. State policies rarely acknowledge the lived experiences of migrants, and too often the laws and policies meant to protect individuals ultimately increase the challenges faced by migrants and their kin. In some cases, the laws themselves lead to illegality or statelessness, particularly for migrant mothers and their children. Crossing the Gulf tells the stories of the intimate lives of migran