Azar Nafisi

Azar Nafisi is best known as the author of the international bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, an incisive exploration of the transformative powers of fiction in a world of tyranny.  Nafisi is a Visiting Professor and the executive director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics.  Nafisi has held teaching positions at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University, and Allameh Tabatabai. In 1981, she was expelled from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil and did not resume teaching until 1987.