Same as MEIS-GA 1760 001. Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This graduate seminar explores some of the central themes in modern Iranian intellectual history. The primary focus of the course will be the transnational circulation of intellectual discourses in contemporary Iran. Intellectual and religious ideas travel in time and space. This is the case with modern ideas, but also with ideas we consider as “traditional” or “local.” Iranian intellectual thought came to interact and overlap with Western liberalism, European and Russian social democracy, French and German Counter-Enlightenment, among others. European thought has traveled to Iran, but, Persian and Islamic traditions have also journeyed to Europe, only to then return to contemporary Iran. The cases of Ahmad Fardid, Ali Shari’ati, and Henry Corbin are conspicuous examples of the reciprocal traveling lifecycle of intellectual ideas and traditions. The course is designed to study three intellectual currents in contemporary Iran. However, we will pay special attention to how these intellectual trends overlap, mutually borrow, and share similar origins in past Iranian or European traditions.