Paniz Musawi Natanzi

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities

20242025 Forum on Keywords

Paniz Musawi Natanzi

Gender Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,

Paniz Musawi Natanzi is a political theorist. Her empirical research and writing focus on labor, knowledge and bodies in relation to Afghanistan, its diasporas and present-day imperialism. During her fellowship year at the Wolf Humanities Center, she will work on her book manuscript with the tentative title Masculinities, Labor and Race: The War Mode of Art Production in Afghanistan. For her doctoral dissertation, she did research in urban Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. After her Ph.D. (SOAS, University of London), Paniz worked as a consultant in policy fields relating to gender, migration and labor, mental health, and prisons in Afghanistan. Paniz was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC) in 2023- 2024 and in the 2022-2023 theme year programming in "Feminist Theory and Imperialism in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies" at Duke University.

Masculinities, Labor and Race: The War Mode of Art Production in Afghanistan

In this survey article I argue that gender research during the US-led NATO  occupation and war in Afghanistan (2001-2021) was embedded in structures  of counterinsurgency warfare. This manifests in the conceptualization of  analytical themes examining gender-related issues. Drawing on anti-colonial  research in Afghanistan Studies and discussions on citational politics in Black  feminist theory, I theorize the logics of jender bazi (Dari Farsi:1 the gender  game) to examine race and labor. What I term imperial temporality becomes visible in social dynamics between researcher and interlocutors in institutional  and organizational architecture of the NATO war and occupation: it manifests in citational politics and writing on women and war and more recent work on men and masculinity in Afghanistan. I contend that knowledge generation  between academic and applied research rewarded an imperial epistemological  ecosystem in gender-related scholarship that catered to the occupation. New  analytics are needed to center-stage Afghan life, labor, knowledge and social time.