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  1. Arts and Social Sciences
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About City

Roya Arab

PhD Student

Music Department

E: roya.arab@city.ac.uk

PhD Title: Iranian Film Music and what it reveals about ongoing dialogue and dialectic between society and music/musicians.

Supervisors: Stephen Cottrell and Miguel Mera

Research interests and overview

The research takes a chronological overview of the changing representation of music and musicians in Iranian films set within the socio-historical context, to help examine how the art-society-feedback-loop of formation and reformation manifests in Iranian film music.

Research Interests

Ownership, investigation, dissemination, uses and abuses of culture and politics in the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on Iran (Persia).


  • BA Archaeology (Hons), IoA, UCL
  • MA Public Archaeology, IoA, UCL

Public Presentations and Conference Papers Given

  • 2019, 20 May - ‘Lyrical and Musical Fluidity and Transformation Across Time, Space, People and Mediums. Who gets Credited? Ma Va To, an Iranian Music Case Study’ paper for Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum, City University.
  • 2019, 9 May - Chair for 'Dar Doordast....(Distant)' screening and Q&A with Susan Taslimi and Mohammad Abdi, Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI, SOAS.
  • 2019, 30 April - co-chair with Saeed Zeydabadinejad and translation for 'Karestan Documentaries from Iran' Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI, SOAS.
  • 2018, 24 Nov - Discussant, ‘Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and the Karestan Documentary Film Project: Screening and Q&A’, Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI SOAS.
  • 2018, 16 Aug - Discussant, ‘Not on your Baba’s Film Farsi’, AIS Conference, Irvine.
  • 2018, 24 Jan - translated and presented Dr Miguel Mera’s paper ‘Film Music Pedagogy in the West’ at the Iranian Film Music: Education and Pedagogy Seminar, Tehran.
  • 2018, 24 Jan - ‘What’s missing in studies of Iranian film music, in Iran and the West’, presented at the Iranian Film Music: Education and Pedagogy Seminar, Tehran.
  • 2017, 29 Dec - Musician in Iranian films’ presented at Bahai Society for Persian Arts and Letters.
  • 2017, 11 March - Chair for ‘Razor’s Edge: The Legacy of Iranian Actresses’ screening and Q&A with film Director Bahman Maghsoudlou, Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI SOAS.
  • 2017, 5 Jan - Musical Performance and the female voice in Iranian film through a Socio-political lens’ at the RMA/BFE Annual Research Students’ Conference, Canterbury, Christchurch University.
  • 2016, 6 Dec – Chair for ‘Iranian Cinema Uncensored: Contemporary Film-Makers Since the Islamic Revolution’ with Shiva Rahbaran Centre for Iranian Studies, LMEI SOAS.
  • 2016, 21 Oct – ‘Music in the Films of Kiumars Pourahmad, an Afternoon of Screenings and Discussion’, City, University of London.
  • 2016, 8 Jun – ‘Archaeological approaches to Music Studies’, Research Student Seminar, City, University of London.
  • 2015, 31 Oct - ‘Site Unseen; Safeguarding MENA Heritage’, Kensington Main Library, Nour Festival.
  • 2014, 11 Oct - ‘Half of Heaven’ panel discussion, Kensington and Chelsea College, Nour Festival.
  • 2012, 17 Nov - ‘Overview of Iran’s ancient History and Cultural Heritage’, for panel on ‘Arts in Iran: Social, Political and Historical Context’, Leighton House, Nour Festival.
  • October 2012 - ‘Near East: Conflict and archaeology’, Modern Conflict Archaeology conference, University of Bristol ‘MCA’.
  • 2012 April - ‘War and Heritage’ for Lifting The Veil at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.
  • 2012 March - ‘The history and heritage of Iran’ on ‘Joining the Dots’ for ‘Nowruz no war’, Amnesty International.
  • 2011 Nov- ‘Iran’s endangered heritage’ paper presented at Leighton House Museum, Nour Festival.
  • 2006- ‘Cataloguing the pyrotechnological remains of the 1968 expedition’ at the Iranian Prehistory Slag workshop, IoA, UCL
  • 2006- ‘Scholars and What they Unwittingly Reveal: the Archaeology Survey of 1968 in Iran’, Sixth Biennial Conference of Iranian studies, SOAS.
  • 2006- ‘The English Training: a student’s view point’, ICCHA (IoA, UCL) Conference, Perking University:
  • 2006- ‘Bam two years after the earthquake, how can IoA get involved’, IOA UCL
  • 2005- ‘The Achaemenid exhibition in the British Museum 2005’, Iran Bastan Museum

Teaching and workshops

  • 2018, 24 Jan - ‘Iranian film Music: Education and Pedagogy’, co-organised along with the Iranian Film Composers’ Guild, attended by practitioners, educators and students and hosted by the Khaneh Cinema, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2017, 3 June - SOAS Centenary Event ‘Youth, Cinema and War in Iran’, co-organised along with the Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS (LMEI).
  • 26 Oct 2014 - History, stories and song writing workshop, Chelsea Theatre, Nour Festival.
  • 2013- ‘Archaeology caught in conflict: Near East and North Africa. Are we doing enough to safeguard past remains, who does and how do we give value to varied remains and are we accounting for the sites lost or made inaccessible in our interpretative models?’ Public Archaeology Masters Seminar, IoA, UCL.
  • 2008- ‘Tourism in Iran: shortcomings and strengths’ workshop at Azad University, Tehran.
  • 2005- ‘Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Iran’ British Museum, organisation and teaching of the associated IHF School visits programme for the exhibition.
  • 2004- ‘Modern archaeological theories and techniques’ workshop at Mazandaran Iranian Cultural Heritage Centre.
  • 2004- ‘Museology’ workshops at Iran Bastan Museum and Mazandaran Cultural Heritage Dept.



  • Arab, R. 2010. ‘An overview of ‘State terrorism and Libya’s record on human rights: fact of fiction? A Conference by Society Outreach, House of Lords,
    27 Jan 2010’
  • Arab, R. 2009. ‘A report of the seminar for National Interfaith week’ at the Zoroastrian Centre in London (ZTFE)18 Nov 2009.
  • Arab, R. 2009. ‘Review and reflections on: Is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia prepared to defend Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Fight Terrorism’. A Conference by Society Outreach, House of Lords, 7 Dec 2009.


Roya Arab