NEW TIME: Of Arab Invasions, the Aryan Race, and other Iranian Nationalist Myths
An Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies Seminar:
This talk discusses the work of Fath’ali Akhundzadeh and Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani, two Qajar-era intellectuals who founded modern Iranian nationalism. In their efforts to make sense of a difficult historical situation, these thinkers advanced an appealing ideology termed as "dislocative nationalism," in which pre-Islamic Iran is cast as a golden age, Islam is reinterpreted as an alien religion, and Arabs become implacable others. Dislodging Iran from its empirical reality and tying it to Europe and the Aryan race, this ideology remains the most politically potent form of identity in Iran. As the following will discuss, Akhundzadeh and Kermani's nationalist reading of Iranian history has been drilled into the minds of Iranians since its adoption by the Pahlavi state in the early twentieth century.
Role: Lecturer in Middle Eastern History
Organisation: King's College London
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