Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies

Photographer: Matteo Capasso

Mr P. (Peyman) Amiri


  • Faculty of Humanities
    Capaciteitsgroep Philosophy and Public Affairs
  • Visiting address
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Room number: 101
  • Postal address:
    Spuistraat  134
    1012 VB  Amsterdam
  • P.Amiri@uva.nl

I am a PhD researcher at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, under the supervision of Dr Robin Celikates and Prof. Guy Geltner. My PhD research analyses the power dynamics within prison spaces of 1980s Turkey and Iran, where oppression of socio-political upheavals by authoritarian regimes had amassed a massive population of political prisoners. Combining historical, sociological and philosophical insights, my analysis will be based on close readings of memoirs of these political prisoners. This untapped cultural archive, chronicling the everyday lives of political prisoners, conveys eyewitness testimonies and provides new insights into the possibilities of resistance that were available to and developed by them.
The aim of this study is twofold, historical and theoretical. At the historical level, it provides a unique account of the prison conditions and the lives of political prisoners in Iran and Turkey during the 1980s. At the theoretical level, it analyses the modes of formation and forms of operation of various techniques of resistance against disciplinary apparatuses, manifested in political prisoners’ everyday life, to maintain their dignity and agency under conditions of permanent observation and control. This analysis will contribute to theoretical discussions in political and social philosophy on both a conceptual and a normative level. 

  • Prison Memoirs: Resisting Narratives. 2016. The International Society for the Study of Narrative 2016 Annual Conference. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Resistance on Hills - Representations in Literature: Spatial Aspects of Peasant Resistance in Two Iranian and Turkish Novels. 2013. British Society for Middle Eastern Studies 2013 Annual Conference. University College Dublin, Ireland.

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