Iran Past and Present

This course provides an overview of the major historical events and processes that led to the making of modern Iran. The course will being with the rise of the Safavid dynasty and follow various transitions and transformations in the social, cultural, political and economic realms through the reign of the Qjar and Pahlavi dynasties, linking contemporary Iran to its various historical legacies. Throughout the term, we will engage with the range of English language historiography on modern Iran, as well as employ a transnational perspective, in order to examine how the region has been simultaneously shaped by and contributed to various forces within the states that encircle it, as well as globally.

Ancient Iranian culture and its influence on the Near East. The impact of the Arab-Islamic conquest, the Islamization of Iran, and the Iranian role in the development of Islamic civilization. The rebirth of Iranian self-consciousness and the establishment of Shiism as the state religion under the Safavids. Traditional Iranian culture in conflict with the West. Modern Iran from the reinstitution of the monarchy to the Islamic revolution. Illustrated with readings, slides, films, a museum visit, live recitations, and music.






Fall 2020

Mehdi Faraji
W: 12:30 PM - 3:15 PM ONLI