This talk will semantically analyse the veil as an architectural space, trying to locate it in Bourdieu’s definition of Habitus. In addition to that, it tries to analyse the veil’s capacity to segregate space into public and private; and it will explore its role in the genderisation of space. Eventually, in the vein of scholars such as Nader Ardalan, Laleh Bakhtiar, Vartan Hovanesian, and Pamela Karimi, the linkages between domestic architecture and the veil will be highlighted by conceptualising the veil as an extended home or as ‘a walled space of infinite privacy’.  The veil (chador, in Persian), by enveloping the women’s body in public, creates what Karimi has called a habitat—an extension of the private space of the home into the public.


Speaker: Farniyaz Zaker is a second-year doctoral candidate at the Ruskin School of Fine Art.  She holds a BA in Art from the University of Tehran an MA from the University of Southampton in Textile Art. 


The Women’s Rights Research Seminar at Oxford was founded in 2009 with the initial aim of directing interdisciplinary scholarly attention to the condition of women in Iran. Since then, the research group has broadened its purview to the condition and rights of women in the Middle East, covering topics such as the politics of fertility, women in ethnic minorities, and the treatment of women in states governed and influenced by Islamic law and jurisprudence. WRRS welcomes seminar and paper proposals from any discipline.  Enquiries: Binesh Hass (