Sara Hassani F'20

Sara  Hassani
Doctoral Candidate
Politics
The New School

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2020
Doctoral Candidate
Politics
The New School
Cloistered Infernos: The Politics of Self-Immolation in the Persian Belt

This dissertation investigates the steep and gendered rates of self-immolation plaguing the domestic sphere in the Persian belt countries of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and mounts a conceptual challenge to common distinctions between self-destructive acts of resistance and suicide in the study of politics. Drawing on fieldwork, interviews with survivors of self-immolation, nurses, burn surgeons, and civil society actors, as well as 200 qualitative surveys from across the region, this project challenges the pathologizing rationalizations characteristic of epidemiological accounts of self-burning and theorizes this lethal and affective form of agency and protest through the lens of marginalized actors who exist within the cultural, political, and socioeconomic realities of apartheid.