Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies, specialisation Persian Studies or the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research), with sufficient level of reading skills in Persian (level B2 European Common Framework). Please, contact the student advisor, Nicole A.N.M. van Os or Dr. A.A. Seyed-Gohrab, if you are interested in taking this course, but NOT a student admitted to one of the above-mentioned master programmes or if you are not confident regarding your level of Persian.
This course is a weekly seminar, focusing on the influence of historical developments on modern Iranian society. For each seminar, students are required to read in advance selections from secondary literature and to analyze a limited number of passages from the primary sources. Each session consists of two hours. In the first hour a general lecture is given and in the remaining hour, the students discuss a topic ranging from introduction of western political philosophy, to Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911), Aryanism, social reform movements, position of women, anti-imperialism, pan-Islamism, Islam and democracy, etc . Each student is expected to give two presentations on a specific topic from the overview.
One of the chief objectives of this course is to acquire insight into the way literature is used as a means of communication to communicate various political views to a broad public in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Indo-Pakistani sub-continent.
Mode of instruction
The course consists of twelve seminars. For each seminar, students are required to read in advance selections from secondary literature and to analyze a limited number of passages from the primary sources. Each session consists of two hours with one short break. The first hour is a general lecture while during the remaining hour, the students discuss their translations and analyses of a text. Each student is expected to give one presentation on a specific topic from the programme below. The final assignment for this course is an essay of 3,000 words, part of which should be an annotated translation of a literary text. Both primary and secondary literature are available from the lecturer. Students are responsible for their own photocopies of the texts.
Paper of 3,000 words (60%).
1. Constitutional Revolution and Secularization
Nazem al-Islam Kermani, Tarikh-e bidari-ye Iraneyan, Tehran: Bonyad-e Farhangi-ye Iran, 1357/1978; Mohammad Sadeq Feyz, Mirza Yusof Khan Mostashar ad-Dowla Tabrizi, Yak kalima va yek nama, Tehran: Sabbah, 1382/2003; Mirza Fath-`Ali Akhundzada, Maqalat, Tehran, Awa, 1351/1972; M. Kia, “Constitutionalism, Economic Modernization and Islam in the writings of Mirza Yusef Khan Mostashar od-Dowle,” Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 30, no. 4, October 1994, pp. 751-777; H. Nateq, Kar-nama va zamana-ye Mirza Reza Kermani, Koln, Hafez, 1363/1984; Mirza Fath Ali Akhundzada, Maqalat, compiled B. Mo’meni, Tehran: Awa, 1351/1972.
2. Clergy’s role in constitutional movement
Abdul-Hadi Hairi, Shi’ism and Constitutionalism in Persia: a Study of the Role Played by the Persian Residents of Iraq in Persian Politics, Leiden: Brill, 1977; A. Arjomand, “History, Structure and Revolution in Shiite Tradition in Contemporary Iran,” International Political Science Review 10 (1989): 109–17; Sh. Akhavi, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Iran: Clergy-State Relations in the Pahlavi Period, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1980, 23-59.
3. ‘Az mâst ke bar mâst’: Modernity and Tradition
H. Algar, Mirza Malkum Khan: A Study in the History of Iranian Modernism, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973, pp. 139-40; S. Ziba-Kalam, Ma cheguna ma shodim, Tehran: Rowzana, 1999; S.A. Arjomand, “The Reform Movement and the debate on Modernity and tradition in Contemporary Iran,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 34, 2002, 719-31.
4. Occidentalism: Jalâl-e Al-e Ahmad and Ali Shari`ati
M. Boroujerdi, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism, Syracuse / New York: Syracuse University Press, 1996; M.R. Ghanoonparvar, In a Persian Mirror: Images of the west and Westerners in Iranian Fiction, Austin, University of Texas Press, 1993; D. Ashuri, “Goft-manha-yi rowshanfekri: gharbzadagi, rowshanfekri-ye dini,” interview in Rah-e Now 1, 9 (1998): 20–21; A. Rahnema, An Islamic Utopian: a Political Biography of Ali Shariati, London: Tauris, 1998 (pbk 2000). A. Shariati, “Critical Attitude towards the west and the Idea of western Decadence” (315-23) and J. Al-i Ahmad, “Westoxication” (343-57), in: Contemporary Debates in Islam: an Anthology of Modernist and Fundamentalist Thought, eds. M. Moaddel and K. Talattof, London: Macmillan Press LTD, 2000.
5. Feminism and Emancipation: a Historical Survey
F. Milani, Veils and Words: the Emerging Voices of Iranian Women Writers, Syracuse / New York: Syracuse University Press, 1992; A. Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran; Bibi Khanom Astarabadi, Ma`ayib ar-rejal, ed. A. Najmabadi, Stockholm: Baran, 1993; M. Mutahhari, “On the Islamic Hijab” in Contemporary Debates in Islam: an Anthology of Modernist and Fundamentalist Thought, eds. M. Moaddel and K. Talattof, London: Macmillan Press LTD, 2000, 361-72.
F. Jahanbakhsh, Islam, Democracy and Religious Modernism in Iran (1953-2000): From Bazargan to Soroush, Leiden: Brill, 2001; A. Matin-Asghari, “
Abdolkarim Sorush and the Secularization of Islamic Thought in Iran,” _Iranian Studies_, 30, 1–2, 1997;Abdolkarim Sorush, Modārā-o modīrīyat, Tehran: Tolu
-i Āzādi, 1376/1997; Idem, _Seratha-yi mostaqim_, Tehran: Serat, 1998; Idem, _Bast-e tajroba-ye nabavi_, Tehran: Serat, 1999; Idem, _Qabz o bast-e teorik-e shariat_, Tehran: Serat, 1991.
7. Fundamentalism and Post-fundamentalism
R. Khomeini, “The Pillars of an Islamic State” and “The Necessity of Islamic Government” in Contemporary Debates in Islam: an Anthology of Modernist and Fundamentalist Thought, eds. M. Moaddel and K. Talattof, London: Macmillan Press LTD, 2000, 247- 62. F. Vahdat, “Metaphysical Foundations of Islamic Revolutionary Discourse in Iran: Vacillations on Human Subjectivity,” Critique, 14 (1999): 49–73; F. Jahanbakhsh, “Religious and Political Discourse in Iran: Moving toward Post-Fundamentalism,” The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Winter / Spring 2003, vol. 9 /2, 243-54.
8. Censuring intellectual debates: Ganji’s Manifest
A. Ganji, Talaqqi-ye fashisti az din va hokumat: asabshinasi-yi gozar be dowlat-e demokratik-e tawse`e-gera, Tehran: Tarh-e Now, 2000. Ganji’s Political Manifest.
9. M. Khatami, M. Kadivar, M. Shabestari
M. Kadivar, Nazariyaha-ye dowlat dar feqh-e shi
a_, Tehran: Nashr-e Ney, 1997; idem, _Hokumat-r vilai, Tehran: Nashr-i Nay, 1998); M. Khatami, A’in va andisha dar dam-e khodkamagi: Seyri dar andisha-ye siyasi-ye mosalmanan dar faraz o forud-e tamaddon-e eslami, Tehran: Tarh-e Now, 1999; idem, Bim-e mowj, 3rd print, Tehran: Sima-ye Javan,1997; M. Mojtahed-Shabestari, Hermeneutic, kitab o sonnat, Tehran: Tarh-e Now, 1996; Idem, Iman o azadi, Tehran: Tarh-e Now, 1997; idem, Naqdi bar qera`at-i rasmi-ye din, Tehran: Tarh-e Now, 2000.
10. Students’ web-logs
11. Diaspora: debates in exile I
Several articles from Encylopaedia Iranica and journals in the field of Iranian Studies will be discussed during this seminar.
12. Diaspora: debates in exile II
Registration via uSis.
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