08. February 2018 - 19:00 till 21:30
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2018 Mirhady Lecture: Ali Mirsepassi: The Imaginary Invention | SFU Vancouver | Thursday, 08. February 2018

SFU Harbour Centre Campus Vancouver
Fletcher Challenge Theatre, Room 1900
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3

Drs Fereidoun and Katharine Mirhady Endowed Lecture in Iranian Studies: Ali Mirsepassim New York University:
"The Imaginary Invention of a Nation: Iran in the 1930s and 1980s"

This talk will discuss upon a specific “imaginary” shift in thinking about Iran as a “modern” nation. I will focus on a scholarly debate concerning the legacy of the French philosopher, Henry Bergson, to better reflect upon the place of Persian Erfan, and Islamic mysticism, in the making of modern Iran throughout the 1930s. I will also discuss a public “ideological debate,” in 1980, on the manner of “reconciling” Islamic “spiritual” tradition with modern secular ideologies, in Iran’s post-Revolutionary period.

I will argue that a clear shift occurred, from imagining Iran as a modern and cosmopolitan nation, in the post-Mashruteh period, to a new national social imaginary, defined by religious identity and “national” tradition. This shift created a nationally unifying narrative, shared by a substantial majority of Iranians, across political, cultural, and ideological divides, as well as multiple sensibilities. These included secular and religious oppositional currents, and the ruling elites themselves.

As seating is limited, reservations are recommended. Please RSVP at: