Tony Kashani, Ph.D. is an Iranian-American author, educator and cultural critic. He was born in Tehran to Azerbaijani parents, an ethnic minority in Iran. He grew up speaking Farsi and Turkish, and after migrating at the critical age of fifteen to his adopted home of California, English became his primary language of intellectualism. Speaking three languages and being aware of three distinctly different cultures at once gave Kashani the impetus to seek a philosophy of cosmopolitanism, where one embraces all cultures and is at ease in most countries in the world. He received his bachelor’s degree in radio and television and later his master’s degree in cinema studies from San Francisco State University. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Humanities with emphasis on culture studies from California Institute of Integral Studies. His writing, teaching, and intellectual activism are anchored in critical theory and pedagogy, influenced by writers such as Kafka, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Camus, and Steinbeck, and thinkers such as Fredrick Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, Paulo Ferrier, Edward Said, Henry Giroux, John Dewey, Herbert Marcuse, Noam Chomsky, Erich Fromm, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. Kashani is the author of five books on media; Deconstructing the Mystique, (2005, 2009, Kendall/Hunt Press), Hollywood’s Exploited: Public Pedagogy, Corporate Movies, and Cultural Studies (2010, Palgrave/MacMillan Press), Lost in Media: Ethics of Everyday Life (2013, Peter Lang Press) and Movies Change Lives: A Pedagogy of Humanistic Transformation (Peter Lang Press, 2016). Kashani is a subject matter expert and faculty for a number of universities in the United States, focusing his interdisciplinary scholarship and pedagogy on media and social justice. He is an advocate of global diversity. On that topic, he writes,
Given that we live in the planetary age where we find ourselves interconnected and in many ways interdependent with one another on a global scale, there exist various conditions between the “self” and the “other.” I am sensitive to and take great care to pay attention to the reality of diversity in the planetary context. If the “self” builds solidarity with the “other” harmony is achieved and we can all live at ease with while engaging differences. This requires sound ethics of virtue, mainly courage and compassion.
On a personal side, he is a practicing Black Belt in Karate and as a student of Zen philosophy believes in balancing his life with mindfulness to result in a harmonious mind/body/spirit existence. He lives with his family in San Francisco.