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25 Feb 21

In May 1977, a young leftist guerrilla named Abdollah Panjehshahi was shot and killed. This fact alone was not newsworthy: In the decade preceding Iran’s 1979 revolution, the monarchist state began a ruthless campaign of repression against the burgeoning armed-struggle movement. What made Panjehshahi’s death remarkable was that he was reportedly killed not by the Shah’s forces but by his own comrades for falling in love with a fellow revolutionary, Edna Sabet. In this talk, Naghmeh Sohrabi reconstructs this story of love, death, and revolution to shed light on notions of heterosexual love and intimacy in 1970s Iran. She asks: Why, in an era shaped – at least on the Left – by political and sexual liberation, did Iran’s young fighters uphold the curious mantra that “love is forbidden?”

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