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Iran Facing Others
 
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Iran Facing Others
Identity Boundaries in a Historical Perspective
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
10 Feb 2012
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£67.50
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9780230102538
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This collection of essays is about Iranian identity in its various manifestations as it encountered the challenge of modernity. It problematizes the notion of an all-inclusive and universal "Iranian-ness" while considering the place of collective memory and sense of community. It consists of five parts organized along thematic lines. The first part, "The Legacy of Cultural Exclusion," deals with the medieval and early modern attempts to define notions of Iran and 'ajam and its supposed others - aniran, Turco-Mongols, and South Asians - through the Persian medieval epic, the Shahnamah, Persian literary histories and tazkirahs. The second part, "The Internal Frontiers," deals with the question of identity at the frontiers of Iran, including nineteenth century travel narratives in Khurasan, Azerbaijani regional re-readings of the significance of Babak Khorramdin, and Qashqa'i attitudes towards the "Iranian" state. The third part, "Empires and Encounters," examines the nature of Iranian interactions with Empires - Russian, British and Ottoman - in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an emphasis of political and cultural "othering". The fourth part, "Identity and Iranian Political Cultures," discusses the Iranian intellectual engagement with Orientalism and the shaping of Iranian understandings of self and other in the twentieth century. Part five, "Globalized anxieties," expands on the theme of Iranian cultural anxieties - both domestically and internationally - and how the modern Iranian state (including the Islamic Republic) copes with the challenges of globalization, the treatment of its own minorities, and imagined domestic enemies. Finally, it addresses how Iranian diaspora communities negotiate their identities abroad, particularly in the United States. 


Description

This collection of essays is about Iranian identity in its various manifestations as it encountered the challenge of modernity. It problematizes the notion of an all-inclusive and universal "Iranian-ness" while considering the place of collective memory and sense of community. It consists of five parts organized along thematic lines. The first part, "The Legacy of Cultural Exclusion," deals with the medieval and early modern attempts to define notions of Iran and 'ajam and its supposed others - aniran, Turco-Mongols, and South Asians - through the Persian medieval epic, the Shahnamah, Persian literary histories and tazkirahs. The second part, "The Internal Frontiers," deals with the question of identity at the frontiers of Iran, including nineteenth century travel narratives in Khurasan, Azerbaijani regional re-readings of the significance of Babak Khorramdin, and Qashqa'i attitudes towards the "Iranian" state. The third part, "Empires and Encounters," examines the nature of Iranian interactions with Empires - Russian, British and Ottoman - in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an emphasis of political and cultural "othering". The fourth part, "Identity and Iranian Political Cultures," discusses the Iranian intellectual engagement with Orientalism and the shaping of Iranian understandings of self and other in the twentieth century. Part five, "Globalized anxieties," expands on the theme of Iranian cultural anxieties - both domestically and internationally - and how the modern Iranian state (including the Islamic Republic) copes with the challenges of globalization, the treatment of its own minorities, and imagined domestic enemies. Finally, it addresses how Iranian diaspora communities negotiate their identities abroad, particularly in the United States. 


Contents

PART I: LEGACY OF CULTURAL EXCLUSION
Iran and Aniran: The Shaping of a Legend; D.Davis
Redrawing the Boundaries of 'Ajam in Early Modern Persian Literary History; S.Sharma
PART II: THE INTERNAL FRONTIERS
Iranian History in Transition: Recasting the Symbolic Identity of Babak Khorramdin; T.Atabaki
Across the Black Sands and the Red: Travel and the Frontiers of Nineteenth-Century Central Asia; A.Khazeni
PART III: EMPIRES AND ENCOUNTERS
Facing a Rude and Barbarous Neighbor: Iranian Perceptions of Russia and the Russians from the Safavids to the Qajars; R.Matthee
British Imperialism, Regionalism, and Nationalism in Iran, 1889-1919; H.L.Stebbins
Shifting Loyalties in Imperial Borderlands: Safavid Renegades and Ottoman Rebels; F.Zarinebaf
PART IV: SELF-FASHIONING AND OTHERING
The Academic Debate on Iran and Iranian Identity: Challenging Nationalist and Orientalist Narratives; A.Matin-Asgari
Some Thoughts on Inter-Societal Linkages between Iran and Iraq; H.Chehabi
PART V: DOMESTIC AND GLOBALIZED ANXIETIES
Dolgoruki's 'Memoirs': From Fiction to Master Narrative; M.Yazdani
Zoroastrians of Iran and Parsis of India: A Dilemma of Identity; M.Ringer


Authors

ABBAS AMANAT Professor of History and International and Area Studies at Yale University, USA.
FARZIN VEJDANIGraduate student at Yale University, USA.