The Emergence of Iranian Nationalism: Race and the Politics of Dislocation by Reza Zia-Ebrahimi

The Emergence of Iranian Nationalism: Race and the Politics of Dislocation

byReza Zia-Ebrahimi

Hardcover | March 15, 2016

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Reza Zia-Ebrahimi revisits 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 Zia-Ebrahimi calls "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.

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. Spread through mass schooling, historical narratives, and official statements of support, their ideological perspective has come to define Iranian culture and domestic and foreign policy. Zia-Ebrahimi follows the development of dislocative nationalism through a range of cultural and historical materials, and he captures its incorporation of European ideas about Iranian history, the Aryan race, and a primordial nation. His work emphasizes the agency of Iranian intellectuals in translating European ideas for Iranian audiences, impressing Western conceptions of race onto Iranian identity.

About The Author

Reza Zia-Ebrahimi is lecturer (assistant professor) in history at King's College London.

Details & Specs

Title:The Emergence of Iranian Nationalism: Race and the Politics of DislocationFormat:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.03 inPublished:March 15, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231175760

ISBN - 13:9780231175760

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsNote on Transliteration and SpellingIntroduction1. The Paleontology of Iranian Nationalism2. Akhundzadeh and Kermani: The Emergence of Dislocative Nationalism3. Pre-Islamic Iran and Archaistic Frenzy4. Of Lizard Eaters and Invasions: The Import of European Racial Thought5. Europe, That Feared Yet Admired Idol6. Aryanism and Dislocation7. The Road to Officialdom8. Triumph Conclusion: The Failure of Dislocative NationalismNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

An important work and should be read by anyone interested in modern Iranian studies.... Highly recommended.