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Hamid Dabashi

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

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Official page on Palgrave Macmillan Site:

https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137592408

 

In this unprecedented book, Hamid Dabashi provides a provocative account of Iran in its current resurrection as a mighty regional power. Through a careful study of contemporary Iranian history in its political, literary, and artistic dimensions, Dabashi decouples the idea of Iran from its colonial linkage to the cliché notion of “the nation-state,” and then demonstrates how an “aesthetic intuition of transcendence” has enabled it to be re-conceived as a powerful nation. This rebirth has allowed for repressed political and cultural forces to surface, redefining the nation’s future beyond its fictive postcolonial borders and autonomous from the state apparatus that wishes but fails to rule it. Iran’s sovereignty, Dabashi argues, is inaugurated through an active and open-ended self-awareness of the nation’s history and recent political and aesthetic instantiations, as it has been sustained by successive waves of revolutionary prose, poetry, and visual and performing arts performed categorically against the censorial will of the state.

Reviews:

“Anyone wishing to understand what progressive Iranian intellectuals are now thinking about the traumatic developments in their country will want to read this book. Passionately written, displaying a strong familiarity with Iranian history, literature and art, as well as with postmodern and postcolonial critique, this book should find a wide readership.” (Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, The Graduate Center, CUNY, USA)

“Hamid Dabashi does what no author writing about Iran can do–he weaves together the deeply intimate and personal with an encyclopedic knowledge in order to upend ossified convention–and he makes it all sing with his renowned wit. Like a poet, Dabashi illuminates the mundanities around him to chart how and why the Iranian nation (or any national culture) can transcend its false union with the state.” (Ramin Bahrani, Writer, Director of “99 Homes”, and Assistant Professor of Film, Columbia University, USA)

“’What time is it?’ Hamid Dabashi asks in this profoundly original and daring mediation on our contemporary condition.  His provocative answer: time to break free from obsolete, Western-devised constructs said to define history’s trajectory. The opportunity to discard those shackles in favor of what Dabashi calls “an emerging cosmopolitan world” presents itself.  To appreciate that opportunity one need no look no further than the developments that are even now reshaping Iran.” (Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History, Boston University, USA, and author of “America’s War for the Greater Middle East:  A Military History”) 

“Hamid Dabashi seeks to understand Iran’s turbulent recent history rather than simply surveying it.  With the depth of a true scholar, he places events in their broad cultural, political and philosophical contexts.  His breadth of knowledge makes this a uniquely insightful reflection on Iran’s past, present, and future.” (Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, USA, and author of “All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror”)

 

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Array ( [2] => Array ( [title] => [text] => "A leading cultural observer." Washington Post "Our most prominent intellectual." Shirin Neshat "Renowned Columbia University scholar on Iranian culture." Boston Globe "Spectacular, important, and incisive. Dabashi's work is crucial for our times." Zillah Eisenstein
Ithaca College, NY
"Hamid Dabashi lovingly writes about the history of Iran that teaches us how to understand a people overshadowed by the grand narratives of political (mis)representation." Gayatri Spivak
Columbia University
"You are with a humanist who deeply loves his country, and invites you to feel very much at home." Susan Buck-Morss
Cornell University
"Superb authority... Dabashi provides a tour de force on Iranian art, politics and culture." Shirin Neshat "Great erudition and imagination... bringing out rich aspects of Iranian culture that are little known or not recognized." Vanessa Martin, Royal Holloway
University of London
"Hamid Dabashi, is one of the most significant intellectual voices outside of Iran since the Islamic revolution." Shirin Neshat "A leading light in Iranian studies." The Chronicle of Higher Education "Cuts through the myths, past and present, that Americans have been told about Iran... presenting Iran's history through the lens of its literary cosmopolitanism." Susan Buck-Morss
Cornell University
"Magisterial." Houchang Chehabi
Boston University
"An important man in New York." Sir Ridley Scott "Much-needed in our troubled times." Gayatri Spivak
Columbia University
"Exemplary of a new Leftist discourse that is undogmatic and non-sectarian... open and intimate." Susan Buck-Morss
Cornell University
"Hamid Dabashi beautifully lays out the alluring dynamic between Iranian art and politics." Shirin Neshat "A rare cultural critic." Mohsen Makhmalbaf "Dabashi's passion and extraordinary vision, gives us the knowledge and commitment to stand against war and build the possibilities for peace and global justice." Zillah Eisenstein
Ithaca College, NY
"Hamid Dabashi's piercing revelations have been as instrumental in fashioning my own films as have Scorsese, Rossellini and Bresson." Ramin Bahrani "Superb and brilliant." Bruce Lawrence
Duke University
"Fresh, provocative and iconoclastic." Ian Richard Netton
University of Leeds, UK
"Learned... sparkles with verve and a sometimes punishing wit. Hamid Dabashi is the perfect guide." Edward W. Said "There are few better places to begin than with Dabashi's subtle and vividly presented wealth on Iran." Said Amir Arjomand
SUNY, New York
"Objective and empathetic... unlike many others on contemporary Iran." Ervand Abrahamian
Baruch College, New York
"Enthusiastic... clear and accurate... impressive." Oliver Leaman
Liverpool John Moores University, UK
"Original, creative and insightful." John L. Esposito
Georgetown University
"Extraordinary." Daniel Brumberg
Georgetown University
"Dabashi has an astonishing ability to range over some of the most complex issues of modern intellectual life." Sudipta Kaviraj
Columbia University
"If anyone can lay claim to Nima Yushij's statement that this world is his home, it is Hamid Dabashi. I want a very broad readership to know the quality of his writing and thinking, of his immense epistemic and historical scholarship." Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Columbia University
"Dabashi is learned, poetic, ranging from philosophy to film, every word written with a commitment to the possibility of a just world. I have worked with him in the past and will work with him again in the future." Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Columbia University
"Hamid Dabashi is one of the foremost exponent today of postcolonial critical theory, whose work deserves to be called post-colonial with all the multivalence of this description." Sudipta Kaviraj
Columbia University
"Hamid Dabashi's writings on Iranian culture and politics brilliantly re-imagine the rich heritage of a shared past and a conflicted present. His reflections on revolution and nationhood, poetry and cinema, philosophy and the sacred, are urgent, provocative, complex, and highly original." Timothy Mitchell
Columbia University
"Equally fluent in philosophical reasoning, literary interpretation, visual hermeneutics and writing with a rare combination of penetration and lyricism, Dabashi's work continues values of both modern critical theory and the highly sophisticated and subtle intellectual traditions of Iranian... reflection -- for both of which he is an wonderfully sympathetic reader." Sudipta Kaviraj
Columbia University
"Hamid Dabashi belongs to a marvelous tradition of poetic thinkers, whose deep insights are crafted in magnificent poetic prose." Gilbert Achcar
University of London
"Dabashi provides his readers with the wine of literary pleasure along with rich food for thought." Gilbert Achcar
University of London
"In Dabashi's work, post-coloniality does not mean a denial or denunciation of the modern European tradition of philosophy and social theory, but their effortless absorption into a larger, more complex reflection." Sudipta Kaviraj
Columbia University
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