Seminar on Iranian Studies

Dear Iranian Studies Seminar Members and Guests,
The second meeting of the 28th consecutive year of Columbia University Seminar on
Iranian Studies for the academic year 2015-2016 will take place on:

Friday, October 9, 2015
at 5:30 pm in the
Faculty House of Columbia University

The speaker will be
Dr. Said Golkar of Northwestern University
Who will lead the discussion on:
Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran

We will gather in the lounge of Faculty House from 5:00-5:30.
Seminar will start at 5:30.
Please notify our Rapporteur, Josiah Bethards, at jjb2190@columbia.edu, if you will attend the lecture. (Please also specify if you will stay for dinner.)

We are looking forward to the pleasure of seeing you at the seminar.
Co-Chairs: Vahid Nowshirvani and Ahmad Ashraf

To reach the Faculty House:
Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, then turn right to the Faculty House.


After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, the clerical establishment founded Iran’s Basij Resistance Force to ensure Iran’s security from internal and external threats. During the last two decades, the Basij has gradually become a tool for Iran’s hardliners to maintain internal security by controlling Iranian citizens. To achieve this goal, the Basij recruits, indoctrinates, and organizes millions of Iranians to subdue “others” who do not join or support the Basij.

About the Speaker

Dr. Saeid Golkar is a lecturer in the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University and a senior fellow of Iran policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Prior to these positions, he served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. Dr. Golkar received his PhD in political science from Tehran University in 2008. He has recently completed his book, Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran, which was published by Colombia University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Press in 2015.

Josiah Bethards
JD candidate
Columbia Law School