Amirpouyan Shiva

Photo of Amirpouyan Shiva

Contact Me

395 HHH Center

301 19th Ave S


How do people change in the process of creating? How does creativity take an inward direction to fashion an inner self? My research examines these primordial questions through the prism of a particular creative site of material production—the Persian blogosphere. Blogging is an extremely popular means for producing self-centering narratives—i.e., written accounts centering around one’s lived experience—in Iran, making Persian one of the top 10 blogging languages. As it deploys ethnographic research to explore blogging, a medium enabled by the coming together of technology, language, and people, my research challenges the received ideas of what media, technological or otherwise, do. It challenges conventional ideas that center on symbolic representation instead of material creation. In my research, I consider the Persian blogosphere not as a theater where bloggers stage already-formed inner selves, which is how it is commonly portrayed, but rather as a factory whereby bloggers’ selves are continually fashioned.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Philosophy: Socio-cultural Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2017 (expected).
  • Master of Arts: Cultural Studies, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran, 2008.
  • Bachelor of Science: Sociology, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran, 2005.


  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Technology
  • Media Anthropology
  • Self and Subjectivity
  • Anthropology of Writing
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Mediation
  • Human-Computer Interaction
Courses Taught
  • Medical Anthropology (Instructor of Record)
  • Cultural Anthropology-Reading Ethnographoes (Instructor of Record)
  • Understanding Cultures-Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Instructor of Record)
  • Anthropology of the Middle East (Teaching Assistant)
  • People and Cultures of India (Teaching Assistant)
  • Introduction to Cultural Diversity and the World System (Teaching Assistant)
Research & Professional Activities


  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Scholar: Developed and taught courses including People and Cultures of Iran and Films from the Middle East to a community of senior citizens brought together by their love of learning, 2013 - 2016


  • Love You to Death: Cockfighting and Masculinity in Tehran, Iran: Ethnographic Photo Essay, 2002 - 2003
  • Shiva, Amirpouyan (2016). Understanding Users: The Extensions of Expectant Systems. 2016 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, 120–133. Link