Farzaneh is the author of Tehrangeles Dreaming: Intimacy and Imagination in Southern California's Iranian Pop Music
(Duke UP, 2020). The title obviously refers the song "California Dreamin'," but in this case the "Dreaming" refers to the active imagining, or reimagining, of Iranian and Persian identity by the artistic community that relocated to southern California following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In our discussion, Farzaneh and I discuss the history of popular music in Iran, the correlation between notions of morality and music in general, and women's voices in particular, and the kind of cultural output that is generated by an artistic community in a highly-politicized and not impoverished diaspora. We talk about a couple of the artists she highlights in her book, Googoosh and Dariush Eghbali, and discuss their personal and political messages, as well as Farzaneh's personal experience of their music.
Professor Farzaneh Hemmasi is an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto.