Raha Athari

Raha Athari

Email: r.athari@lancaster.ac.uk

Thesis Title

Alienated Memories: Reconstructing the Self in Autobiographical Writings of Diasporic Iranian Women


Lancaster University


Dr Lindsey Moore
Dr Maryam Ghorbankarimi

Research Summary

My thesis analyses diasporic memoirs by Iranian women writers, emphasizing the role of life-writing in healing traumatic memories and (re)constructing hybrid identities. Located at the intersection of memory studies, trauma studies, scriptotherapy, and postcolonial studies, this thesis departs from the frequently overshadowing post 9/11 and the declaration of war on terror political discussions of this genre and offers a fresh close reading of these texts, which has not been done to this extent so far. I examine various types of memories in the texts, such as spatial, traumatic, and body memories as well as postmemory and inherited nostalgia. The thesis has three analytical axes: elucidation of the processes of restoration, recollection, and narration of bilingual memories in these texts; analysis of diasporic autobiographical subjects’ polyphonic identity formations; and foregrounding these subjects’ engagement in therapeutic self-fashioning by narrating autobiographical memories in English.

Research Interests

Coming soon


Athari, Raha. “‘Why So Many Memoirs?’ A Study of the Growing Field of Iranian Autobiographical Diaspora Literature.” Post-Millennial MENAWA: New Approaches to Literature, Translation, & Creative Expression. Lancaster University, 21 June, 2022. Conference Presentation.

Athari, Raha. “The Progressive Qajar Princess: A Study of Taj al-Saltaneh’s Memoir; Crowning Anguish: Memoirs of a Persian Princess from the Harem to Modernity.” Bearing Untold Stories Symposium. Lancaster University, 31 May, 2022. Conference Presentation.

Athari, Raha, and Amir Ali Nojoumian. “”Colliding Worlds: An Analysis of Conflicting Identities in Porochista Khakpour’s Novels; The Last Illusion and Sons and Other Flammable Objects.”” 1st International Conference on English Language Studies. University of Isfahan, 12 December, 2019. Conference Presentation.

Athari, Raha, “”Breaking Out of The Bell Jar: A Study of Scriptotherapy in Sylvia Plath’s Semi-Autobiography.”” 1st International Conference on English Language Studies. University of Isfahan, 12 December, 2019. Poster Presentation.


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