In association with the University of Texas Press, the third instalment of the My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora special series features, Prof. Mehdi Tavana Okasi and Dr. Roger Sedarat. Mehdi is Professor of Creative Writing at Purchase College of the State University of New York, who was born in Iran and became a refugee of the Iran-Iraq war, which led him to the suburbs of Boston. Roger is a Professor in the Department of English at Queen’s College of the The City University of New York. Roger was born in Normal, Illinois to an Iranian father, and grew up in San Antonio. Instead of talking primarily about their wonderfully powerful pieces, Tommy chats with Mehdi and Roger about what occasioned their coming together: the unexplained suspension of Katherine and Leila's Twitter account. A perplexing and confusing situation that remains unresolved after more than 6 months. Indeed, today's chat is about politicized censorship, the ironies of cancel culture, and of course, their catalysts: a pandemic riding out on the heels of the most incompetent President in American history. From the burden of hybridity, the policing of the imagination, and the absence of space for ambiguity, to the false ideal of whiteness and the commodification of lies, there’s something here for everyone. We begin by discussing the utter disappointment of Katherine and Leila’s twitter account suspension, and Twitter’s refusal to not only reinstate it, but their lack of willingness to actually investigate what happened.
Follow Katherine, Leila and their contributors (IF THE ACCOUNT IS EVER REINSTATED): @IRANMusings
Follow the University of Texas Press: @UTexasPress
A very special thanks to Dr. Babak Elahi and The Resonant Freqs for sharing their incredible music for this special series. Dr. Elahi is also a contributor to My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora.