IAS Fellow at St. Aidan’s College, October-December 2022


Shahram Khosravi is Professor of Social Antropology at Stockholm University. Since early in his academic career, Khosravi has been working in two geographically and thematically different research fields. One is precarity in urban Iran and the other migration and border studies of Europe.  He defended his doctoral dissertation on youth culture in Tehran in 2003 which later on was published by the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 (Young and Defiant in Tehran). His second book on social changes in the Iranian society is Precarious Lives, Waiting and Hope in Iran, which also was published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 2017. Whereas Young and Defiant in Tehran focuses more on the spatial relations in everyday life, a main theme in Precarious Lives is the temporal aspects of Iranians’ everyday life: waiting, queuing, imaging a futureless tomorrow, feeling nostalgia, hoping, replication and repletion, and transiting from youth to adulthood.

Since 2004, he has also been studying borders and borderings practices in Europe. The first project, based on ethnographic fieldwork among undocumented immigrants in Stockholm resulted in Illegal Traveler: An Auto-ethnography of Borders published by Palgrave 2010. He has conducted fieldwork research on the consequences of deportation for Afghan migrations.


The edited volume After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives (by Palgrave 2017) and several articles have been outcomes of the project. His most recent project has been on temporal bordering, resulting in two books: a co-edited volume Waiting and the Temporalities of Irregular Migration (Routledge 2020) and an art book Waiting – A Project in Conversation (Transcript 2020). Moreover, in collaboration with two filmmakers Professor Khosravi has made two videos on temporalities and waiting in relation to migration and borders.


As a public educator, ProfessorKhosravi has been active in the media as well. In the 1990s and 2000s he wrote for Swedish newspapers. His essays have appeared also in The Guardian and New York Times. His works have been translated into many languages such as Chinese, Armenian, Persian, Greek, Spanish, Italian and French. In 2017 he started Critical Border Studies which is a network for scholars, artists and activists to interact.


While in Durham, Professor Khosravi will engage with the Durham-led interdisciplinary project, The Politics of Credibility, and act as project advisor to Dr Elisabeth Kirtsoglou (Anthropology) and Dr Olga Demetriou (Government and International Affairs).  The project will cast fresh analytical light on the politics of credibility that underpin asylum determination regimes in the UK and Europe (Greece, Cyprus and Germany).