University of South Carolina

Panel to discuss Iran's nuclear controversy

By Peggy Binette,, 803-777-7704

Hope for democracy in Iran was crushed in January 2004 when opposition led to a ban of more than 2,500 legislative candidates and the resignation of nearly half of Parliament right before national elections were to be held.

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is a champion for human rights and was the first member of Iran’s 7th Parliament to resign after the historic ban. She will be at the University of South Carolina Aug. 27 – Sept. 5 as a visiting scholar. Two events are free and open to the public.

Haghighatjoo’s lecture, titled “Islam, Politics and Gender Equality Movements,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. She will discuss Iranian politics and the country’s struggle with women’s rights.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, she will participate in a panel discussion titled “The Iran Nuclear Controversy.” Joining Haghighatjoo will be USC faculty members Katherine Barbieri, political science; Thomas Crocker, law; and Josef Olmert, Jewish studies and political science. Robert Cox, who recently was named director of USC’s Walker Institute for International Studies, will moderate. Both events will take place in Gambrell Hall Auditorium.

While at USC, Haghighatjoo also will guest lecture to classes and meet with faculty.

Haghighatjoo has previously taught at the University of Connecticut, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005, she was honored as Young Global Leader by the World Economics Forum, and in 2010, she helped found the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy.

A member of the Iranian Parliament from 2000 – 2004, Haghighatjoo was president of the Student Movement Caucus and a deputy of the Mosharekat Caucus in the 6th Parliament. Before serving in political office she was a professor at Tehran University and Shahid Beheshti University and was head of the Student Psychological Consultant Center of Iran University of Science and Technology.

Haghighatjoo’s visit to USC is sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Department of Political Science, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Walker Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her visit is funded by the Provost’s Visiting Scholar Grant Program.

For more information about Haghighatjoo’s visit to USC, contact Stephanie Mitchem, chair of the Department of Religious Studies, at 803-777-4100 or

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 08/20/12 @ 6:00 PM | Updated: 09/10/12 @ 10:19 AM | Permalink