Culture, Power, and the State, 1870-1940
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Washington Press
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IN OCTOBER 1971, MOHAMMAD REZA SHAH PAHLAVI &mdash THE SHAH OF IRAN, ''LIGHT of the Aryans'' &mdash staged an official celebration marking the twenty-fivehundredth anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire.1 Seven days of commemorative ceremonies were held in the windswept desert oasis of Persepolis, in southwestern Iran, amid the ruins of the ancient imperial capital. What was most remarkable about the spectacle was not the parade of foot soldiers and cavalrymen dressed in the garb of the Achaemenid, Parthian, ...
1. Staging the Nation: City, Ceremony, and Legitimation in Late Qajar Iran
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ON MAY 1, 1896, NASER AL-DIN SHAH (R. 1848 &mdash 96), FOURTH MONARCH OF THE Qajar dynasty of Iran, was assassinated while making a pilgrimage to the shrine of 'Abdolazim, a popular gathering place for urban worshipers just outside Tehran.1 Eyewitness accounts estimated that as many as two thousand people had gathered on the sanctuary grounds during the shah's visit.2 Both contemporary and later observers conceded that it was unusual for the shah to visit a public site where he would come into direct contact with...
2. Nationalizing Pre-Islamic Iran: The Return of the Archaic and the Authentication of Modernity
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WHEN THE IRANIAN DEMOCRATIC AND NATIONALIST LEADER HASAN TAQIZADEH (1878 &mdash 1970) arrived in Berlin on January 9, 1915, the world was at war.1 The early victories of the Central Powers on both the western and eastern fronts, and the menacing presence of the German submarine fleet in the sea lanes of the Atlantic, seemed to promise the Reich's victory over the now weakened empires of Britain and Russia. The cataclysm of the Great War &mdash described by one European playwright, without too much hyperbole, as ''The...
3. The Pedagogic State: Education and Nationalism under Reza Shah
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AS REZA SHAH STEPPED ONTO THE NEWLY BUILT QUADRANGLE OF THE UNIVERSITY of Tehran on February 5, 1935, to lay the dedication plaque inaugurating Iran's first university, he saw only an empty space devoid of the usual hum of a college campus.1 'Ali Asghar Hekmat, Reza Shah's minister of education and one of the chief planners of the project, recalled in his memoir that the weather that day was cold and ominous. The impending thunder in the gathering clouds contrasted with the calm of the well-ordered network...
4. Nation and Memory: Commemorations and the Construction of National Memory under Reza Shah
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ON A FALL MORNING IN NOVEMBER 1934, SEVERAL DOZEN EUROPEAN Orientalists made a pilgrimage to a gravesite in the far corner of Heyreh cemetery, two kilometers outside the city of Nishapur in northeastern Iran.1 The pilgrims, including such luminaries in the study of Iranian art, literature, and culture as Henri Massť, Jan Rypka, Arthur Christensen, and Vladimir Minorsky, had come to pay their respects at the mausoleum of Omar Khayyam, the thirteenth-century Persian poet whose famous Rubaiyat had long...
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IN THE SPRING OF 1979, AS THE REVOLUTIONARY DRAMA WAS STILL Unfolding in the streets of Iran's major cities, a little-known cleric by the name of Sadegh Khalkhali (1927 &mdash 2003) commandeered a bulldozer and headed toward the tomb of Cyrus at the Pasagradae archaeological site just outside of Shiraz. As the legend of this event is told and retold &mdash by Iranians living both inside and outside Iran &mdash Sadegh Khalkhali mounted the bulldozer, turban-clad, clerical garb blowing behind him, and zealously drove across...
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Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: Studies in Modernity and National Identity
Series Editor Byline: Edited by Sibel Bozdogan and Resat Kasaba