By Hamid Dabashi
A heritage of the cosmopolitan forces that made modern Iran
“No ruling regime,” writes Hamid Dabashi, “could ever have a complete declare over the assumption of Iran as a state, a people.” for many years, the narrative approximately Iran has been ruled by means of a fake binary, within which the conventional ruling Islamist regime is counterposed to a latest inhabitants of proficient, secular urbanites. even though, Iran has for plenty of centuries been a country solid from a various mixture of affects, such a lot of them non-sectarian and cosmopolitan.
In Iran with no Borders, the acclaimed cultural critic and student of Iranian heritage Hamid Dabashi lines the evolution of this worldly tradition from the eighteenth century to the current day, traveling via social and highbrow routine, and the lives of writers, artists and public intellectuals who articulated the belief of Iran on a transnational public sphere. Many left their homeland—either bodily or emotionally—and imagined it from areas as far-flung as Istanbul, Cairo, Calcutta, Paris, or big apple, yet jointly they cast a state as worldly because it is multifarious.
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Extra info for Iran Without Borders: Towards a Critique of the Postcolonial Nation
A significant wave of labor migration to Tehran has consisted of workers from Azerbaijan, who continue to speak their native Turkic language, just as some Ahvazis who are Arabs speak Arabic. All forms of manufactured ethnicized identity among the Iranian Arabs, Kurds, or Azaris categorically disregard the centrality of labor migration in the formation of cosmopolitan urbanism in cities extending from Ahvaz or Shiraz in the south to Tehran and Mashhad in the north. As in all its other fantasies, bourgeois nationalism (Persian, Arabic, Turkish, or whatever) uses, abuses, and dispenses with labor when manufacturing its ideologies.
An imperial imaginary informs their contemporary measures of a modern nation-state. The dismantling of that comforting connivance between fact and fantasy rubs people the wrong way, and the shimmering sight of a future in which contemporary nation-states are faded and folded into more complicated pasts and amorphous futures is a particularly daunting prospect. Consequently, this book pursues a critique of the postcolonial nation geared towards revealing these hidden layers of historical formation.
Chapter 8 concentrates on the Green Movement of 2009, demonstrating how it brought that repressed and denied cosmopolitan culture back to the public sphere with such unparalleled political potency that the Islamic Republic may never recover from its aftershocks. My conclusion argues that it is impossible to imagine Iran except in its immediate and distant environments. Iranian Arabs, Kurds, Azaris, those living by the Caspian Sea, or in the province of Khorasan, are all as much part of Iran as they are integral to their surrounding cultures and environments.