Nacim Pak Shiraz

Personal Chair of Cinema and Iran, Head of Department


Professor Nacim Pak-Shiraz holds a Personal Chair in Cinema and Iran and Head of Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. After a B.A. in Tehran, she completed  a postgraduate programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, followed by an M.A. in the Anthropology of Media, and PhD in Film and Media at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).  Professor Pak-Shiraz joined the University of Edinburgh in 2010.

Professor Pak-Shiraz is also active on the cultural scene and engages with international film festivals both within and outside the UK. She has  curated 5 annual film festivals in Edinburgh and been a jury member and presenter at a number of international film festivals in Europe and Asia.


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Responsibilities & affiliations

Film Studies, University of Edinburgh

Undergraduate teaching

  • Cinema and Society in the Middle East
  • Classical Persian Literature
  • Modern Persian Literature
  • Islam Through the Art

Postgraduate teaching

  • Research Methods and Practice
  • History and Culture of Iran
  • Ruling Iran

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

PhD Supervision - Principle Advisor:      

  1. Erden Goktepe, 'Transformation of marginalised masculinity into protest masculinity in Turkish Cinema', Film Studies PhD.
  2. Eleanor Lucy Deacon, IMES PhD.
  3. Ameerah Alshehri, IMES PhD.
  4. Farah Taleb, IMES PhD.
  5. Bahar Faeghi, IMES PhD.
  6. Erin Robbins, IMES PhD.

Second Supervision

  • Fatemeh Dehghani Firouzabadi, Landscape Architecture

Past PhD students supervised

 Principle Advisor:

  1. Lovisa Berg,  'Creating a Man, a Mouse or a Monster?: Masculinity as Formulated by Syrian Female Novelists through the Second Half of the 20th Century', IMES PhD.  Completed 2017
  2. Alessandro Coloumbu, 'Modernity and Gender Representation in the Short Stories of Zakariyyā Tāmir: Collapse of the Totalising Discourse of Modernity and the Evolution of Gender roles', IMES PhD.  Completed 2017
  3. Zeynep Merve Uygun, 'Unveiling through Documentary: The Making and Imagining of Space Among Veiled Women in Contemporary Turkey',   Transdisciplinary Documentary Film PhD. Completed 2019
  4. Farshid Kazemi, '(Un)veiling Desire and Sexuality in Iranian Cinema, IMES PhD. Completed 2019

Second Supervision:

  1. Michael Munnik, 'Points of Contact: A Qualitative Fieldwork Study of the Relationship between Journalists and Muslim Sources in Glasgow', IMES PhD. Completed 2015.
  2. Peter Cherry, 'British Muslim Masculinities in Transcultural Fiction and Film (1985 – 2012)', Comparative Literature PhD.  Completed 2017.

Research summary

Dr Pak-Shiraz's research interests are in the arts and cultures of the Middle East and Muslim societies, particularly the visual arts.

She is  interested in film’s engagement with religion and spirituality, representations and constructions of gender in visual culture, the Iranian performing arts and religion, contemporary expressions of Islam in art and material culture, and Persian literature.

Current research interests

Visual Culture Middle Eastern Cinema Film, religion and spirituality Iranian performing arts and religion Politics and cinema Gender and commercial cinema Representations of gender in film Masculinity in Iranian cinema Religious epics Persian literature

Research activities

View all 43 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

She is currently working on a number of research projects, chiefly the constructions of masculinities in Iranian cinema from its early pre-Revolutionary era down to the present day. She is also undertaking research on religious epics, with a particular focus on Qur’anic films.

View all 16 publications on Research Explorer