The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Shahla Talebi

CN ’06

Dr. Shahla Talebi is a scholar of religions, 2006 Newcombe Fellow, and associate professor at Arizona State University.

A native of Iran, Dr. Talebi lived in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. She spent nearly a decade in political prison, first from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1983 to 1992, where she was subjected to physical, verbal, and psychological abuse. In 1998 she survived the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners, including her husband Hamid.

Dr. Talebi relocated to the United States in 1994 and—nearly 20 years after her first imprisonment disrupted her undergraduate work—earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. She went on to complete master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University before joining the faculty at Arizona State, where she now teaches in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and is the Islamic Studies Program Coordinator.

In 2011, Dr. Talebi published a memoir of her time as a political prisoner, Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran (Stanford University Press). The book won the 2011 Outstanding Academic Title Award given by Choice Magazine.

Dr. Talebi contributed some perspectives on the Middle East for our fall 2014 newsletter, for the full story, click here.

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