Elham Mireshghi

Elham Mireshghi

Areas of Study and Research

Anthropology and Sociology of Religion

Faculty Assistant Instructional Professor in the Divinity School and the College

PhD, University of California, Irvine 

Elham Mireshghi is a cultural anthropologist. Her research and teaching expertise spans the anthropology of public policy, medical anthropology, economic anthropology, and the anthropology of morality, bioethics, and Islamic law, with a regional focus on Iran and the larger Middle East. She earned her PhD from UC Irvine after completing a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (UC Berkeley) and a brief foray in intellectual property law. 

Her ethnographic research investigates the making and implementation of Iran’s one-of-a-kind organ transplantation policy that regulates monetary transactions between living unrelated kidney donors and recipients. She examines the formation of fatwas that facilitated the policy, as well as enactments and moral valuations of the exchange that challenge widespread conceptualizations of bodily commodification. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, and the Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship on Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. 


At UChicago she teaches a “Self, Culture, and Society” sequence in the Social Sciences Collegiate Division as well as graduate courses in the Divinity School. Her previous courses have included "Islamic Jurisprudence, Reason and the State," "Islam and Biomedicine,” “Islam, Welfare, and Neoliberalism,” “Public Policy and Bureaucracy” and “Bodies, Gifts, and Commodities."