Pardis Mahdavi

Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Director of the Pacific Basin Institute, and Dean of Women at Pomona College

Pardis Mahdavi is the author of four books: Passionate
Uprisings: Iran’s Sexual Revolution, Gridlock: Labor,
Migration and ‘Human Trafficking’ in Dubai, and From
Trafficking to Terror: Constructing a Global Social Problem. Her fourth book, Crossing
the Gulf: Love and Family in Migrant Lives was published in April 2016 by Stanford University

Her research interests include gendered labor, migration,
sexuality, human rights, youth culture, transnational feminism and
public health in the context of changing global and political

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