MES 1985 Shahs, Clerics and Poets: The Politics of Cultural Representation in Modern Iran
W 3:00-5:30 p.m.
Professor Amir Moosavi
This interdisciplinary course looks at the history of modern Iran through an examination of translated primary historical documents, secondary studies and various forms of cultural production. The course will begin with a broad historical overview and look at some attempts to give historical narrative to Iran in the modern era. We will then go back to the latter half of the Qajar dynasty (approximately 1850) and move forward until we arrive at the present day. Throughout the course, students will study topics such as modernist reform in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, questions of Iranian identity, various attempts at political reform, the women’s movement and the country’s relationships with its neighbors and the West. The course will emphasize the debates and challenges that have occupied Iranian intellectuals and artists, broadly conceived, and will encourage students to think about how cultural representations of major historical events and socio-political changes contribute to and challenge historical narratives, as well as how contemporary history and politics affects cultural representation.