Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs: Peter Green Lecture on the Modern Middle East with Abbas Amanat – From the Safavid Revolution to the Islamic Republic of Iran: Shaping of a Longue Durée
Part of a year-long series entitled “Iran Today” aimed at sophisticated discussion of contemporary Iranian society and culture as a countermeasure to the general lack of knowledge and sensational coverage circulated in US media.
For five centuries Iranian society and state remained engaged with such enduring tensions as state and religion, messianic movements, court and administration, center and periphery, the enemy within and outside, and monopoly of material resources. To what extent can one incorporate these and other compatible traits into a coherent historical narrative? Are there traceable trajectories and unresolved processes in Iran’s domestic, regional and global involvements, to make crafting of a longue durée possible without falling victim to historical essentialism?
Abbas Amanat is William Graham Sumner Professor of History at Yale University and Director of the Yale Program in Iranian Studies. His most recent book is Iran: A Modern History (Yale University Press, 2017). His other publications include: Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi’ism (I.B. Tauris, 2009); Pivot of the Universe: Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy (University of California Press, 1997); and Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran (Cornell University Press, 1989). His recent co-edited volume, Persianate World: A Conceptual Inquiry, is published by Brill in 2018.