Scholar at Risk to Speak at IWU

March 6, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Mehrangiz Kar, a member of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) organization, will speak at Illinois Wesleyan University on Tuesday, March 11, at 4 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium of the Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza East). Students and faculty will also have an opportunity to meet Kar and speak to her over lunch Tuesday from 12 – 1:15 p.m. in the Davidson Room of the Memorial Center (104 E. University Ave).

Her speech, titled, “Under Attack: Women’s Rights in Iran” will cover women’s struggle for rights, including recent government decision to revoke the publishing license of Zanan, an influential women’s magazine.

Kar’s visit is sponsored by the International Studies Program, and the events are free and open to the public.

Kar is an Iranian lawyer and internationally renowned writer, specializing in women’s rights and family law. She has received several human rights awards including the National Endowment of Democracy’s 2007 Democracy Award. Kar was brought to worldwide attention in 2000 when she was arrested for expressing critical views of Iran’s legal system at an international conference in Berlin. In 2001 she was sentenced to four years in prison, on charges of acting against national security and distributing propaganda against the Islamic Regime.

Scholar’s at Risk is an international network of colleges and universities geared towards helping scholars who are attacked in their home countries because of their words, ideas or place in society. SAR provides sanctuary to these scholars, lecturers, researchers and other intellectuals by providing them with temporary academic positions throughout the United States. SAR promotes academic freedom and defends the human rights of scholars worldwide. Kar was recently a SAR fellow at Harvard University and is current a SAR scholar at Wellesley College’s Newhouse Center for Humanities.

For more information on Scholar’s at Risk visit the Web site at For more information about Kar’s visit to IWU contact Irving Epstein, professor of education, at or (309) 556-3098.

 Contact: Allegra Gallian, ’09, (309) 556-3181