I originally started my eponymous website in 2012 on WordPress as a place to dive deeper into my doctoral work and put my teaching portfolio on display. For a brief time I also ran a second site, PhDadBlog, dedicated to posts and thoughts about parenting and fatherhood more specifically. The former became a place for me to write on various topics and issues, while the latter was eventually ignored.
But it’s time to start anew! Welcome to the new – NEW – munibrezaie.com! Bringing together the contents of both sites with an updated look and back to its original home – WordPress.
If you’ve followed my site for a while, you probably have an idea of what to expect. If you haven’t, below are the main things you need to know about me that inform both how I write and what I write about:
- I have a PhD in Moving Image Studies
I received a PhD in Communication from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. My dissertation project was titled Global Playground: Mutualism, the Ethic of World Citizenship, and the Films of Dayyan Eng, and I used it to present an approach to film that veered away from assuming an inherent conflict within human nature.Much of my research during my doctoral work focused on Chinese cinema, especially mainstream filmmaking in the People’s Republic of China. However, I am also interested in a lot of other topics, including film history, media industries, media literacy, game studies, transnational media, film marketing, etc. Generally speaking, I find myself repeatedly drawn to research that presents a more international and de-westernized view of media issues. The idea of world citizenship as a global ethic profoundly impacted my dissertation, and continues to guide me in my own personal life.
This also means I write a lot about movies, TV shows, martial arts, and pretty much anything else that gets my attention in the wide world of media.
- I think men need to #BeBetterMen
I am interested in conversations about the role of masculinity in society today. Over the years, I keep finding myself returning to this topic in one way or another. My MA thesis, Neutered Dragon: A Critical Look at the Career of Jackie Chan, compared and contrasted the various ways Jackie Chan’s masculinity was represented on screen, with a particular focus on the differences between his English-language and Chinese-language films.Now more than ever, I believe boys and men need to have some seriously introspective and thoughtful conversations about what it means to be a man, how we can change the dominant harmful narratives around manhood, and how to create a new culture of masculinity characterized by empathy, compassion, and respect. You’ll see a lot of that in my writing, too
- I am a father.
Becoming a parent is a life-altering event. That’s nothing new. But it’s a part of who I am. My desire to create a better world for my sons is a major part of who I am and what I’ll be bringing to my blog posts. Parenting is also ridiculous, and that’s fun to dig into sometimes.
- I am a Bahá’í
The worldview of the Bahá’í Faith is probably the single greatest contributor to how I navigate my life – or try to, at least – on a daily basis. Its tenets ask me to constantly seek self-improvement, to celebrate unity in diversity on a global scale, to independently investigate reality for the most accurate truth, and to actively work towards making the world a better place. It was all over my dissertation, and whether I like it or not, it’s all over this site. It’s just who I am.
- I care about social justice.
This one’s connected to Number 4. The Bahá’í Faith is a faith of social justice. One of my favorite quotes from the Bahá’í Writings is“To be a Bahá’í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.”
I believe I have a twofold moral purpose in this world: to work on improving my own spiritual qualities, such as generosity, empathy, kindness, patience, etc; while working on improving the community around me. The two are inseparable, and one organically feeds into the other. The only way to practice generosity is to BE generous to others. The only way to practice kindness is to BE kind to others. And all of that ties directly to the need to push for social justice. We must address injustices. We must right historical wrongs. And we must move forward with hope, acceptance, forgiveness, positivity, and optimism.