Conversation with Niaz Kasravi Director of the Avalan Institute & Racial Justice Advocate and Dr. Parisa Vaziri, Comparative Literature/Middle East Studies, Cornell University
Dr. Parisa Vaziri is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature and Near Eastern Studies. She joined Cornell University in the Fall of 2018, after earning her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine. Her research explores the legacies of Indian Ocean slavery through visual culture. She is interested in the interconnections between the histories of enslavement in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds, and the complex genealogies of racial difference that emerge through the long durée of global African enslavement. She is currently working on a book that explores representations of Blackness in Iranian cinema.
Dr. Niaz Kasravi is a national expert and an advocate on criminal justice, social justice, and racial justice, with more than 18 years of experience leading campaigns across the country - including on police accountability, racial profiling, and death penalty abolition. Dr. Kasravi is the Founder & Director of the Avalan Institute – a research, advocacy & training institute. She previously served as Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Associate for the Domestic Human Rights Program of Amnesty International USA. Dr. Kasravi holds a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine. In 2000, via a National Science Foundation grant, she traveled to Iran to work with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi on women’s rights and justice reform in that country.
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