Dr. Sana Chavoshian

Research Fellow

Dr. Sana Chavoshian
Dr. Sana Chavoshian


Since April 2021
Research Fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
March 2020 - March 2021
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences “Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities”, Leipzig University
April 2016 - March 2020
Junior Researcher, Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences “Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities”, Leipzig University
April 2014 - March 2016
Individual PhD Candidate, Institute for Ethnology and African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz


May 2014 - January 2020
PhD Cultural Sociology, Leipzig University
October 2009 - January 2012
M.A. Cultural Studies / Cultural Sociology, Allame Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran
October 2005 - July 2009
B.Sc. in Clinical Psychology, University of Science and Culture, Tehran, Iran
April 2005 - July 2009
B.A. in International Journalism, School of Media Studies, University of Applied Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran


Journal Articles

2022, "In the Aura of the Prophet: Dreaming Sayyida Fatimah and Tropes of Connectedness in Iran’s Women Pious Circles". Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East, Leiden.

022, "Islamwissenschaft an den Grenzen von Wissenschaft, Religion und Politik: Eine feldanalytische Perspektive". Soziale Welt, Vol. 25. Co-authored with Monika Wohlrab-Sahr.

2021, "Military Hero to Martyr: crafting singularity and the formation of Muslim collective subjectivity in an Iranian statist ritual". Asiatische Studien, Vol. 3, 859-879.

2020, "Dream-realities: Materializing the Martyrs and Missing Soldiers of Iran-Iraq War". Religion and Society: Advances in Research 11:1, 149-165. (special section: Elsewhere Affects, eds. Hansjörg Dilger, Omar Kasmani, Nasima Selim, & Dominik Matte).

2019, "Secular Atmospheres: Unveiling and Urban Space in early 20th Century Iran". Historical Social Research, GESIS 44: 3, 180-205 (special issue: Islamicate Secularities in Past and Present, eds. Markus Dressler, Armando Salvatore & Monika Wohlrab-Sahr).

2018, "Challenges for Gender Equality: Women’s Religious Circles in Post-Revolutionary Iran". GENDER Journal for Gender, Culture and Society, 9: 3, 117-132.

2014, "Studying ‘Now-Time”: Constellation and Origin in Walter Benjamin's Methodology” Quarterly Journal of Social Sciences, Allameh Tabatabai University Publication, No. 65, 241-265.

Book Chapters

Selected Lectures

23–24 June 2022
Waterwheel of Secularization: Archaic, Secular and Spiritual Divides in the Delta Cities of South-West Iran“. Lecture in the Workshop "(Im)Materiality of the Secular City: Trials and Tribulations” Leipzig University

May12, 2022
"Micro-relics: Dust and the Multiple Returns of the Past in the Landscapes of War". In the Lectureseries "Material Secularities – Interdisciplinary Perspectives". Leipzig University

November 4, 2021
A Dusty Heritage: The Remnants of the Iran-Iraq War between Museum and Former Battlefield.
In NGG 2021 Conference Religion and Heritage: Futures for Religious Pasts. University of Amsterdam

October 28, 2021
War Heritage as ‘the Sacred Defense’: Religious Affects and Secular Resentments in Iran-IraqFormer Warzones.
In the International Workshop Enshrining the Past: Religion and Heritage-Making in a Secular Age, Leipzig University.

September 17, 2021
Veteran Justice Project in Iran, ZMO Workshop Struggles for Justice Past and Present: A Translocal Perspective, Berlin.

18-20 July 2019
Religious Orientations toward Secularity: Iranian Intellectuals in the Post-Revolutionary Time Conference “Pious, Civic and the Secular: Methods and Theory” in ERC Private Pieties, Göttingen.

17-18 January 2019
Martyr’s Ritual and Feminine Pious Subject in Iran’s Post-War Polity Danish-German Scientific Network: Modern Muslim Subjectivities, Approaching Modern Muslim Subjectivities through Religious Rituals, Hamburg.

4–6 October 2018
Differentiation and Temporality: Muslim Pious Women in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery Secularities - Patterns of Distinction, Paths of Differentiation, Conference of the Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences “Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities”, Leipzig.

17-20 June 2017
Feminist Historiography and Multiple Differentiations: Women’s Agency in early 20th Century Iran Muslim Secularities: Explorations into the Concept of Distinction Practices of Differentiation Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences “Multiple Secularities” workshop, Leipzig.

13-16 September 2017
Dreams and Materiality: Material Spaces in Female Pious Circles in Iran Media, Materiality, Methods: the 22nd Annual Convention of the German Association for the Study of Religion (Panel: Beyond Karbala: Theorizing Shiʿi Materiality”, Chair: Dr. Christian Funke, Dr. Robert Lange) Marburg.

11-12 May 2017
The Unconscious: A Problem Space for Science and Islam Religion und Wissenschaft: Neue Fragen zu einem alten Thema: Frühjahrstagung der Sektion Religionssoziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS) Berlin.

22 March 2016
From Anti-Western Nativists to Post-Islamist Religious Intellectuals: Trajectories in Iranian Intellectual History Together with Dr. Nahid Mozaffari, KFG “Multiple Secularities Colloquium, Leipzig.

24-26 September 2015
The Mantel of the Prophet”: Modernity, Martyrdom and Pilgrims of Rahiyan-e-Noor The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences: 22nd International Conference of the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO), first Section Conference of the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG), Joint International Conference. (Panel: Muhammadan Ways: Prophet, Self and Community in Early Modern and Modern Islam; Chair: Prof. Dr. Stefan Reichmuth; Dr. Rachida Chih), Bochum.

25-27 June 2015
Martyrdom and Modernity: al-Hallaj and Iran at the Core of Islamic Rebellions Sociology of Islam – Reflection, Revision & Reorientation, Conference of the Section Sociology of Religion in the German Sociological Association in Cooperation with the Centre for Religious Studies (CERES), Bochum.


The Annual Book Award “Life Style” together with M.Saeed Zokaei for Key Concepts in Leisure Studies (Tehran: Tisa Publication) in the section Best Translation, Iran
Distinguished Master student for the highest total GPA excluded from PhD matriculation written examination
1st place (Top Rank) in Iran's Nationwide University Matriculation Examination for Graduate Programs in Social Sciences among ca. 10,000 participants, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Iran

Recent Teaching

Summer Semester 20
Affective Regimes and Creative Atmospheres (Institut für Kulturwissenschaften), Leipzig University
Winter Semester 19/20
Soziologie des Islams: Wissen, Macht, Affekte (together with Lena Dreier), Leipzig University


  • English: professional fluency
  • German: fluent
  • Arabic: advanced
  • Farsi: native speaker