Working PaperPDF Available

Raising the Tone (Harmonically) of Ethnographies of Iran and its Diasporas (Celebrating a New Generation of Ethnography) [2010]

Authors:
Occasional)Working)Paper,)ETL)Laboratory)at)MIT1!(Fischer!Lab)!
Presented!at!UC!Irvine,!April!2010;!and!NYU!October!2010.!
DOI:!10.13140/RG.2.2.13895.91046!
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!celebrating a new generation of ethnography
Raising the Tone (Harmonically) of Ethnographies
of Iran and its Diasporas
!!!!!!!!©!Michael!M.J.!Fischer!
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!This!Working!Paper!was!prepared!for!a!series!of!workshops,!organized!by!Mazyar!
Lotfalian,!at!the!Center!for!Persian!Studies!at!the!University!of!California,!Irvine,!where!he!
was!Associate!Director!under!the!leadership!of!Prof.!Nasrin!Rahimieh,!with!the!support!also!
of!the!Center!for!Ethnography!under!the!leadership!of!George!Marcus.!!The!goal!of!the!
workshops!was!to!generate!a!conversation!among!ethnographers!of!the!period!before!the!
Islamic!revolution!in!Iran!and!those!of!the!new!generation!of!ethnographers,!to!link!up!work!
in!the!two!eras,!characterize!the!transformations!and!continuities.!!To!provide!a!baseline!for!
these!discussions,!I!undertook!to!read!through!the!available!dissertations!that!contribute!to!
the!ethnographic!understanding!of!Iran,!primarily!those!produced!by!people!identified!with!
anthropology,!but!with!some!spill!over!in!other!fields.!!One!of!the!findings!was!that!it!was!
not!true,!as!was!often!assumed!that!anthropology!in!Iran!was!overwhelmingly!about!tribes,!
secondarily!about!village!life,!but!not!much!concerned!with!the!urban!or!transnational!
worlds!of!Iran.!!Statistically!this!is!not!the!case!as!I!show!in!the!listing!of!dissertations!in!the!
Appendix.!!The!focus!of!the!first!set!of!workshops!was!on!the!dissertation!as!first!projects!of!
a!career!that!would!further!develop.!!This!was!a!pedagogical!interest.!!I!call!my!accounts!
“first!readings”!with!the!hope!that!they!would!become!entrees!to!further!discussions!of!both!
the!topics!and!the!tools!of!ethnographic!discovery!and!presentation.!
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!The!Working!Paper!was!well!received!at!Irvine;!it!was!also!presented!at!NYU!at!a!
session!chaired!by!Peter!Chelokowsi.!!There!were!several!follow!up!workshops!at!Irvine!and!
UCLA,!including!production!of!new!ethnographically-informed!oral!histories!with!scientists,!
engineers,!and!physicians.!
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!Sections!2.2-6!remain!unwritten!out,!but!the!idea!is!modeled!in!section!2.1!of!
connecting!up!new!dissertation!work!with!earlier!work!in!each!of!these!substantive!areas,!
and!the!dissertations!are!identified!for!anyone!who!wants!to!follow!up.!!!
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I’ve!been!asked!a!number!of!times!for!copies!of!the!presentation,!and!always!wanted!
to!“finish”!it,!but!figure!enough!time!has!passed!that!I!should!just!make!it!available!in!its!
Working!Paper!format.!
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1!Laboratory!for!New!Ethnographic!Methods,!Contemporary!Social!Theory!and!Emergent!Forms!of!
Life,!or!for!short:!!ETL:!Ethnography,!Theory,!Life.!!!!
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!!!!!!!"#$%&'(!%)!*+,)#-&%.,/0!1#$&2,!30&#((!42)2&%+/#)(!
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1.0.!!52$!62)(/7/8/+/2(!%)'!9#&:(:!first!projects!(Dissertation!Work),!
1.1.!!!Genres!and!Venues!![Alexanian,!Grant,!Hemami,!Khosravi,!Lotfalian,!!
Rohani,!Shahrokhi,!Zahir,!Zeyadabadinejad)!
1.1..1.!!!! “;<$/+)2((/)-”!genres!![Alexanian,!Darznik,!Nahal!Naficy,!Pierce,!!
Rohani]!
1.1.2.! ! “Escape”!![Shahrokhi]!
1.1.3.! ! “Negotiating!media!control”![Zeynabadinejad]!
1.1.4.! ! “Art!&!Memory”![Hemami,!Lotfalian,!Zandian?]!
1.1.5! ! “Youth!culture”!![Shahrokhi,!Rohani,!Zahir]!
1.2!!!!Gay!Selves!(Moinzadeh)!
1.3=!!Psychiatric!Selves!(Behrouzan)!![Chini,!Khanideh,!]!
1.4.!!! The!Feminist!Selves:!Beauty!and!Empowerment!(Mahdavi)!
>=?=!!Investments!in!Muslim,!Marxist,!or!Republican!Secular!Futures!!
(Javadzadeh)!
@=A!!!B#)+/)C/)-!B#)D2&(%+/#)(!
!2.1.!!! Bazaars!as!Moral!and!Economic!Spaces!(Erami,!Keshavarzian)!
2.2.!!! Cinema!!(Zaydabadi-nejad![Kalami,!Motaheddeh])!
@=E=!!Folklore!(Gillis,!Haeri,!Monette)!
2.4.!!!Medicine!(Loeffler;!history!of,!Sayeghi)!
2.5.!!! Music!!(Caton,!Hajarian,!Hooshmandrad,!Mohaved,!Simms)!!
2.6.!!! Religious!“Ethnicity”!and!Immigration!(Amanat,!Bozorgmehr,!Gerth,!!
Kalantary,!Somekh)!![Historical!Roots:!Y.!Afshar,!Ara,!Daryaee,!!
Manek,!McDonough,!Pirnazar,!Sakhai,!Sick,!Secunda,!Veivana]!
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E=A=!1#)F+!4/D2!+,2:!;)G#&:%+/#)@!
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H=A=!!I%&-2&!;:.8/0%+/#)(!
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?=A=!!3..2)'/JK!!Towards!an!Archive!of!Ethnography!for!Iran!and!its!Diaspora.
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2!Sharam!Khosravi!posted!a!copy!of!a!document!from!the!head!of!the!Herasat,!the!ideology!minders!
in!every!government!unit,!enjoing!close!monitoring!of!anyone!who!comes!to!seek!statistical!or!other!
data!without!formal!!permission,!and!holding!these!minders!accountable!for!the!unnecessary!release!
of!information.!!!
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Towards!an!Ethnographic!Dowreh!(Discussion!Circle)!
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What!would!we!like!to!gain!from!ethnography?!!
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Steering!with!the!respectful!oars!of!support!and!critique!between!the!Scylla!
and!Charybdis!of!)%&&%,%+!L%&'%)!(offense)!and!+%F%&#G!(false!praise!in!the!service!of!
in-!the-moment!smooth!social!relations),!this!essay!attempts!to!help!foster!a!
collective!endeavor,!a!scholarly!republic,!and!an!ever!better!informed!'#$&2,!
[circle]!of!discussion.!!It!attempts!a!style!of!professional!reading,!that!is,!with!an!
accent!on!&2%'/)-!G#&!+,2!2+,)#-&%.,M.!!
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While!“raising!the!(harmonic)!tone”!is,!of!course,!a!chordal!reference!to!Kant!
and!Derrida,1!the!point!is!not!to!criticize!or!even!critique!any!given!text!so!much!as!
to!add!to!and!enrich!the!collective!discourse,!the!harmonics,!the!conversation.!!!
Where!texts!are!dismissive!of!the!work!of!the!scholarly!republic,!this!text!tries!to!re-
&2%'!G#&!$,%+!2+,)#-&%.,M!/(!+#!72!-82%)2'.!!!!!
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The!French!anthropologist!Christian!Bromberger!writes!“in!order!to!
undertake!such!comparative!work,!there!must!exist!a!‘community’!of!
anthropologists!working!on!Iran!.!.!.!no!such!‘community’!or!institution!has!yet!been!
established!(2009:!203).!!It!is!towards!such!a!community!that!the!present!survey!is!
directed.!!Such!a!community!did!exist!in!the!1970s.!!It!continues!at!least!virtually!in!
the!writings!of!those!who!work!on!Iran,!even!if!they!are!poorly!read,!and!cited!only!
in!dismissive!acknowledgment!lists,!rather!than!being!taken!up!into!scholarly!
critique!and!debate.!!Bromberger!(who!works!on!Gilan)!writes!that!it!is!“no!longer!
possible!to!write!monographs!on!villages!while!being!confined!there,!as!was!done!in!
the!past.!!Life!today…is!organized!in!translocal!networks.!!Not!one!member!of!the!
family!that!I!am!currently!studying!resides!today!in!the!village!where!I!met!them!all!
twenty!years!ago”!((Bromberger!2005).!!!
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But!this!is!hardly!a!new!condition,!as!was!recognized!by!many!works!in!the!
1970s.!!The!twenty-one!Zoroastrian!villages!I!worked!in!as!well!as!the!Muslim!ones!
surrounding!the!city!of!Yazd!continually!sent!out!migrants!since!the!19th!century!to!
India,!to!the!Gulf,!as!well!as!to!other!cities!in!Iran.!!Fereydun!Safizadeh’s!work!in!
Azarbaijan!attended!to!this!as!well,!as!did!Howard!Rotblatt’s!on!the!Qazvin!plain,!
and!of!course!Grace!Goodell’s!observations!about!the!peasants!pushed!off!the!land!
from!the!Dezful!Irrigation!Project.!!!
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Bromberger’s!assumption!about!the!past!(and!his!own!work?)!is!a!valid!
criticism!of!a!02&+%/)!(+M82!of!village!studies!both!then!and!now.!!Tribal!studies!have!a!
similar!double!profile,!of!some!being!done!as!if!the!tribes!lived!in!isolation,!while!
others!investigated!their!troubled!integration!into!broader!political!economies!and!
nation-states.!!!Richard!Tapper’s!2009!comment!is!particularly!sharp,!commenting!
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on!the!high!sensitivity!of!the!Boir!Ahmad,!something!you!would!never!learn!from!
the!Loeffler’s!writings!about!the!village!they!studied.!!!!!!
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Fariba!Adelkhar!is!somewhat!right!to!observe!that!among!the!cuts!performed!
by!the!Revolution!for!those!working!in!Iran!was!an!enforced!separation!from!
Marxist!and!neo-Marxist!intellectual!traditions!and!also!from!the!development!
studies!aligned!with!the!White!Revolution!of!the!1960s!and!1970s.!!Commentaries!
from!adherents!of!both!traditions!do!continue!from!both!inside!and!outside!the!
country,!but!their!social!power!of!course!has!been!cut!down.!!Adelkhar!is!
considerably!less!astute!when!she!displays!her!class!blinders!by!claiming!that!before!
the!revolution,!Iranians!(in!general)!considered!Islamic!practices!“as!surviving!
elements!from!the!past,!muffled!in!the!background!of!the!private!sphere,!elements!
that!modernity!…was!seeking!to!dissipate.”!(211)!
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Introduction:!!First!readings!of!first!projects!(Dissertations)!
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One!of!the!exciting!developments!in!the!new!dissertations!and!ethnographies!
of!Iran!(as!elsewhere)!is!the!gradual!decipherment!of!emergent)new)sensibilities!
and!cultural!formations!among!the!generations!now!coming!of!age!in!three!
interlaced!arenas:!Iran,!the!Iranian!diaspora,!and!the!mutual!influences!flowing!
among!them!across!both!relatively!closed!and!relatively!open!environments!(1.0).!!
One!of!these!sensibilities!is!the!hip-hop!sampling!consciousness!that!observes!
pieties!of!the!previous!generations!with!passionate!affectionate!or!angry!!irony!
and!the!new!media-enhanced!ability!to!mix!and!match,!debate!and!contest,!or!just!
play!with!cultural!features.!!!!
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Among!the!obvious!concerns!(3.0)!about!this!emerging!literature!is!the!
degree!to!which!it!(so!far)!remains!(in!Iran)!Tehran-centric!and!youth-culture!
focused!(in!relatively!decontextualized!ways!without!real!engagement!with!the!
sectors!of!the!youth!such!as!new!baseeji!recruits,!or!with!real!analysis!of!the!changes!
in!the!technological!infrastructures!as!opposed!to!taking!them!for!granted!as!though!
either!obviously!libratory!and!democratic!or!means!of!state!control!and!
surveillance);!and!(in!the!diaspora)!driven!by!relatively!limited!identity!issues.!!Is!
the!emergent!literature!a!class-based!one!re-inscribing!the!myopic!vision!of!the!
generation!that!fled!the!revolution!and!could!claim!they!had!no!idea!where!
Khomeini!came!from!(e.g.,!Gholam!R.!Afkhami,!",2!;&%)/%)!N2D#8C+/#)K!",%)%+#(!#)!%!
5%+/#)%8!60%82,!1985,!page!1).!!!!
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A!slightly!different!concern!is!the!degree!to!which!the!revolution!created!a!
break!in!conversation!about!enduring!issues!and!themes!(2.0).!!!Doing!fieldwork!in!
Iran!under!heightened!political!anxieties!of!the!state!over!social!control!is!not!easy,!
but!all!the!more!valuable!when!done!well,!and!able!to!open!up!what!is!hidden!under!
the!surface.!!!After!all,!one!of!the!ethnographic!skills!is!to!allay!fears,!to!engage!
discussion!about!what!matters!to!all,!identifying!and!eliciting!perspectives!of!all!
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sides.!The!challenges,!of!course,!are!part!of!the!game,!as!iconically!registered!in!
Evans-Pritchard’s!opening!pages!of!",2!5C2&,!and!for!Iran!expressed!so!
adversarially!by!the!head!of!the!Herasat!Orgization!cited!in!footnote!2!above.!!These!
are,!if!one!likes,!the!rules!of!the!game.!!Ethnography,!in!any!case,!and!the!social!
sciences!more!generally,!has!the!task!of!producing!new!data,!not!just!sitting!around!
waiting!for!handouts!from!bureaucrats!who!have!their!own!rules!of!the!game.!!!
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1.!0.!!New!Sensibilities!and!Forms!
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1.1.!!Genres!and!Venues!![Alexanian,!Grant,!Hemami,!Khosravi,!Lotfalian,!Rohani,!
Shahrokhi,!Zahir,!Zeyadabadinejad)!
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Among!the!most!interesting!and!fresh!ethnographic!arenas!is!the!exploration!
of!genres)of)perception!and!spaces)of)enactment.!!Literary!and!film!critics!of!
course!have!an!easier!time,!needing!only!to!read!a!few!texts,!or!watch!a!few!films.!!
What!is!exciting!about!the!ethnographic!endeavor!is!the!ability!to!place!such!
readings!in!their!social,!agonistic,!developmental,!historical,!and!comparative!
contexts.!!Janet!Alexanian!puts!it!this!way!in!her!dissertation!(2009:!171,!72):!“",2!
$#&L!#G!%)+,&#.#8#-/(+(!8%&-28M!/)D#8D2(!G&%:/)-!O!#G!.&#D/'/)-!+,2!.&#.2&!0#)+2J+!+#!
%88#$!%)!/:%-2!#&!(02)2!+#!72!P&2%'Q!#&!C)'2&(+##'=!!3)+,&#.#8#-/0%8!&2(2%&0,!#)!
#)8/)2!0#::C)/+/2(!0%)!72!'/(+/)-C/(,2'!G&#:!+,2!:2'/%!(+C'/2(!8/+2&%+C&2!+,%+!
2:.,%(/R2'!)#D28!0#)(+&C0+/#)(!#G!/'2)+/+M!/)!#)8/)2!(.%02(!S"C&L82!>TUHV!>TT?W!
6%)'#D%8!@AAAX.!3)+,&#.#8#-/(+(!,%D2!2J%:/)2'!,#$!.2#.82!C(2!+,#(2!(2D2&%8!:2'/%!
+#!'2D28#.!+,2/&!/'2)+/+/2(!/)!$%M(!+,%+!0%&&M!#D2&!(2++/)-(=”!
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1.1.1.!!“;<$/+)2((/)-”!genres!![Alexanian,!Darznik,!Nahal!Naficy,!Pierce,!Rohani]!
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!In!her!dissertation!on!Iranian!NGO!organizations!operating!in!the!heady!
proximity!of!power!politics!in!Washington,!D.C.,!Nahal!Naficy!repeatedly!refuses!to!
be!recruited,!or!categorized!whether!by!history,!political!affiliation,!or!ethnographic!
expectations.!!She!wants!to!live!her!young!life!for!itself!in!the!present,!not!repressing!
the!past,!but!also!not!dwelling!upon!it.!!In!the!course!of!her!reflections!she!draws!
playfully!and!skillfully!on!two!genres!or!tropes,!first!the!Persian!miniature!of!secret!
glances!and!peering!around!corners,!the!world!of!gossip,!and!innuendo;!and!second,!
the!Dracula!trope!or!‘vampire!of!the!past’!that!causes!myths!to!outlive!themselves!
sucking!the!energy!out!of!life!today,!whether!imperial!pasts,!Marxist!ones,!or!Islamic!
ones.!!The!result!is!an!elegant!meditation!on!ethnographic!purposes!(“not!butterfly!
collecting”)!and!modalities!(how!to!allow!the!present!to!breathe),!as!well!as!
descriptive!of!the!way!in!which!the!NGOs!construct!their!roles!and!relations!to!
America!and!to!their!compatriots.!!The!voice!is!an!“I”!but!an!elusive!and!playful!one,!
constantly!refusing,!re-negotiating,!calling!attention!to!the!claims!being!made!upon!
it!by!others.!!!It!resonates,!albeit!using!very!different!materials,!with!Hamid!Naficy’s!
work!on!the!accented!cinemas!by!exile!directors!who!make!films!that!are!not!
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necessarily!diegetically!about!migration,!but!in!their!formal!techniques!(small!
spaces,!looking!through!windows,!into!doorways,!veiling!truths)!register!their!
'/GGY&%)02,!their!repetitions,!differences,!emotional!marks,!and!deferrals.!!!It!also!
resonates,!in!a!different!harmonic,!with!meditations!on!%)%)/M%+!(“I-ness”)!in!the!
grammatical!and!poetic!meditations!on!freeing!the!self!from!illusory!expectations.!!
But!Nahal!Naficy!does!this!in!a!very!contemporary,!this!worldly,!rather!than!
mystical!modality!(see!below!sections!1.1.2!and!1.2).!!!
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Talieh!Rohani,!like!Nahal!Naficy,!a!Iranian!ethnographer!of!Iranian-
Americans,!in!her!M.A.!thesis!is!fascinated!by!the!difference!between!Iranian-
American!sensibilities!and!Iranian!ones,!and!particularly!by!the!free!play!between!
lack!of!knowledge!and!insistent!claim!to!ownership!of!“Iran”!on!the!part!of!young!
Iranian-Americans.!!Inversely,!she!also!reflects!on!the!ways!in!which!Iranian-
American!casualness!about!the!realities!of!Iran!provides!a!freeing!up!of!imaginative!
constraints!on!“how!things!are:!”you!don’t!necessarily!have!to!cook!L,#&2(,<2!
-,2/:2,!the!way!your!grandmother!did,!you!can!be!free!to!experiment.!!!
Ethnographically,!Rohani!focuses!on!727/)<"Z!and!the!emergent!internet!portal!
television!(IPTV),!while!also!canvassing!radio!talk!shows,!videos!and!blogs!on!
;&%)/0%)!and!N%'/#![%D%),!and!acknowledging!other!new!media!such!as!;&%)/%)=0#:,!
4##M%V!\%8%+%&/)V!\\B!and!Z]3!.!!\27/)<"Z,!based!in!L.A.,!is!interesting!because!over!
60%!of!its!audience!has!been!in!Iran,!its!founders!are!double!migrants!(first!to!
Sweden,!then!to!California),!often!with!Tudeh!family!backgrounds,!and!especially!
because!it!tracks!the!transformation!from!satellite!broadcasting!to!the!affordances!
of!web!2.0.!portals,!that!is,!more!interactive!and!through!which!Iranians!can!provide!
more!accurate!portrayals!of!Iranian!life!than!imagined!by!producers!in!California!or!
London.!!!While!through!these!media,!Rohani!can!explore!generational!conflicts!
between!the!revolutionary!generation!and!their!children!(including!anger!at!parents!
for!colluding!on!a!more!restrictive!childhood!than!the!parents!enjoyed,!perhaps!out!
of!pragmatic!fear,!but!justified!by!that’s!“our!Persian!cultural!norms’),!what!is!
perhaps!most!exciting!is!Rohani’s!ability!to!begin!to!characterize!the!new!media!
space!as!a!venue!for!collaging!fractured!bits!of!Persian!culture.!!This!is!not!just!a!
new!Pinglish!sensibility!(a!term!of!amusement!without!gravitas),!but!an!intertextual!
bi-cultural!media!form!that!is!inclusive!of!anyone!who!wants!to!join!and!allows!
multiple!levels!and!styles!of!language!competence.!!Keeping!this!fresh!will!be!an!
evolving!challenge!in!order!for!viewers!to!keep!coming!back,!both!those!who!are!
learning!Persian!language!and!references!(the!diaspora),!and!those!who!are!learning!
a!more!irreverent!relation!to!their!culture!(the!Iranians!inside!Iran).!!!
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! Janet!Alexanian!expands!the!discussion!to!genres!and!venues!across!the!
“transnational!Persian!loom”!(Fischer!and!Abedi!1990),!and!focuses!beautifully!on!
different!genres!of!personal!or!“I-witness”!accounts!such!as!memoirs,!blogs,!and!
ethnographic!fieldnotes,!appearing!in!public!venues!of!four!kinds!of!cultural!space:!
on-line!communities,!'#$&2,s!and!NGOs,!public!demonstrations,!and!in!the!politics!
of!images.!!!She!begins!to!draw!out!the!socio-linguistic!code-switching!that!happens!
between!“constructing-while-performing!identity”!on!the!one!hand!and!on!the!other!
hand!a!continual!struggle!over!“the!right!ways!to!represent!Iran”.!!Identities!
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(personal,!class,!ethnic)!are!always!relational!(us/them,!L,#'/^-,%&/72,).!!They!are!!
constantly!being!re-constructed!and!contextually!shifted.!!Like!Rohani,!she!observes!
the!way!Persian!phrases!are!deployed!by!Iranian-Americans!as!+#L2)(,!Piercian!
signs!and!icons,!often!without!the!cultural!baggage!that!Iranian-born!Iranians!
associate!with!them.!!She!notes!the!fine-grained!ethnographic!mapping!of!“types”!in!
Persian!discourses!(tagging!people!by!political,!social,!or!other!characteristics;!
screening!them!for!inclusion!or!exclusion!by!questions!about!parents’!origins,!
occupations,!schooling,!etc.).!!!
!
In!fascinating!discussions!of!both!a!large!(25-30!member)!long-running!
Tehran!'#$&2,!(discussion!group)!and!then!in!on-line!blogging!(on!L.A.!based!
;&%)/%)=0#:)!Alexanian!explores!shifts!in!private/public!boundaries.!!Why!do!people!
put!diary-like!entries!on!the!Internet,!and!why!would!a!'#$&2,!in!Tehran!want!to!
publically!register!itself!as!an!NGO?!!!The!;&%)/%)=0#:!website’s!motto!is!“nothing!is!
sacred”,!and!it!is!explicitly!a!venue!for!forging!new!sensibilities.!!!1%&'<2!'28!(telling!
the!heart’s!sorrows)!to!an!intimate!friend!is!not!traditionally!what!one!would!do!in!
public,!but!now!it!perhaps!functions!as!part!of!discourses!of!authenticity!or!
sincerity,!and!is!constitutive!of!new!communities!of!cues!and!signals,!positioning,!
and!challenging!the!right!to!represent.!!Mishandling!the!shifting!lines!of!
public/private!can!be!troublesome.!!As!Javid,!the!founder!and!moderator!of!
;&%)/%)=0#:!says!in!the!site’s!FAQ,!““If!you!write!about!how!you!hate!the!Islamic!
Republic!and!then!decide!to!go!to!Iran!for!a!vacation,!too!bad.!!I!will!not!remove!your!
article.”!!Alexanian!notes!that!many!blogs,!read!over!time,!gradually!become!more!
guarded,!ambiguous,!and!indirect.!!As!one!young!person!tells!her,!“No!one!writes!
openly;!even!if!they!do,!they!write!in!such!a!metaphorical!indirect!way!that!you!can’t!
tell!what!they’re!referring!to!anyway…!I!am!one!of!those!people”!(p.!132).!!
!
And!yet,!there!is!an!impulse!toward!the!public.!!The!'#$&2,!is!a!space!of!!
pedagogy.!!As!one!member!says,!“The!topic!itself!is!secondary!—the!process!of!
learning!new!information,!asking!questions!the!right!way,!making!the!right!
comments,!this!is!something!we!didn’t!learn!in!school!.!.!.!how!to!negotiate!opposing!
perspectives,!how!to!have!a!debate.”!(p.!!136).!!The!idea!of!registering!the!'#$&2,!as!
a!non-political!NGO!(under!the!more!open!presidency!of!Khatami),!perhaps!was!
partly!self-protection!against!being!accused!of!secret!political!gathering,!but!the!
same!founding!member!says!it!was!also!to!expand!the!pedagogy:!“we!felt!that!we!
had!to!do!something.!!It!is!all!good!and!well!to!sit!and!talk!amongst!ourselves!.!.!.!but!
if!we!open!up!we!could!reach!a!lot!of!people,!make!an!impact!in!our!society.!!In!the!
end,!we!need!to!use!our!education/knowledge,!this!energy!that!has!accumulated!
here,!for!our!society.!!This!is!our!obligation!to!our!society!.!.!.!If!you!don’t!do!this!you!
are!not!an!intellectual.”!(ibid.)!!!And!yet,!they!had!to!be!very!careful!to!screen!and!
only!invite!people!who!were!of!the!right!type.!
!
! Similar!shifting!negotiations!over!inside!and!outside!occur!with!regard!to!
how!to!respond!to!government!organized!demonstrations!on!the!anniversary!of!the!
1979!revolution,!another!ethnographic!venue!that!Alexanian!explores!both!inside!
one!family,!and!with!relation!to!the!ways!linguisticially!“the!outside”!is!addressed,!
!
8!
read,!and!remembered.!!She!chronicles!how!the!family!explains!things!to!her!as!a!
“representative”!American!visitor,!how!they!second!guess!how!the!foreign!media!
will!represent!them!and!Iran,!and!how!they!relate!in!different!ways!to!the!nostalgia!!
triggered!by!footage!of!the!1979!struggle!three!decades!earlier!and!how!it!is!being!
used!today.!!!!
!
A!fourth!venue!expands!the!realm!of!the!spectacular!and!its!relational!
interpretations!from!media!warfare!over!IRI!versus!foreign!representations!about!
the!demonstrations,!to!interpretations!over!the!picture!on!the!cover!of!the!
promoted!and!disparaged!book!by!Azar!Nafisi,!N2%'/)-!I#8/+%!/)!"2,&%).!!Again!the!
right!to!represent!is!at!issue,!with!Hamid!Dabashi!complaining!that!the!image!was!
cropped!so!as!to!change!its!meaning!from!one!of!two!girls!reading!a!newspaper!on!
the!eve!of!the!revolution!of!1979!to!one!of!lustfully!reading!what!is!signaled!in!the!
title!(Lolita).!!But!Dabashi’s!lustful!interpretation!itself!is!suspect,!since!it!is!unlikely!
that!two!girls!would!be!standing!publically!outside!in!chadors!reading!a!racy!novel.!!
More!obviously!it!is!a!representation!of!the!reading!group!described!in!the!text!
together!with!a!reminder!of!the!disputed!dress!code!imposed!on!girls!when!in!
public.!!!!Still,!as!Alexanian!notes,!the!cover!on!Fatemeh!Keshavarz’s![%(:/)!%)'!6+%&(!
(which!explicitly!takes!on!Nafisi)!is!a!visual!retort,!showing!stylish!women.!!The!play!
of!class,!Alexanian!suggests,!is!lost!on!Keshavarz,!as!it!is!in!many!women’s!genre!
memoirs,!which!have!tended!to!come!from!the!well-to-do.!
!
! In!a!fourth!ethnographic!venue,!Alexanian!makes!her!fieldnotes!from!Tehran,!
available!as!the!subject!for!discussion!by!activists!in!California.!!These!activists!are!
selected!as!a!particular!kind!of!dialogic!sounding!board!“because!an!import!part!of!
their!work!as!activists!was!to!represent!Iranian!women!in!ways!both!critical!and!yet!
that!avoided!essentialist!discourses!about!“Third!World!Women”!or!Islamic!or!
Iranian!culture!as!inherently!misogynist.”!!Like!Nahal!Naficy’s!meditation!on!the!
purposes!of!the!ethnographic!voice,!Alexanian!creates!here!a!space!with!potential!
for!deepening!the!discourses!of!cultural!critique!among!people!who!bring!varied!!
informed!and!situated!viewpoints,!enriching!the!insights,!adding!interpretive!value.!!!!
!
! (The!use!of!the!Mahmoudy!and!Darznik!memoirs,!and!the!Persson!
documentary!films!seem,!as!yet,!underdeveloped,!in!large!part!because!they!seem!
unrepresentative!of!the!range!of!either!genre,!and!thus!reinforce!the!bias!that!is!
being!argued!against.)!
! !
!Pierce!provides!a!brief!coda!here!on!blogs.!!Pierce!is!a!non-Persian!speaker,!
who!nonetheless!has!written!an!interesting!dissertation!comparing!a!seventeen-
year!old’s!Tehran!blog,!5#+2(!#G!%)!;&%)/%)!4/&8V!from!October!2002!to!March!2003,!
consisting!of!252!short!posts,!to!that!of!the!famous!\%-,'%'!\C&)/)-!by!Rivergirl!in!
her!late!twenties,!and!to!_..2&!*0,28#)!#G!`%../)2((!by!Shady,!a!36!year-old!woman!
living!in!San!Francisco!with!an!Iranian!father!and!an!Afghan!mother,!who!identifies!
as!Iranian.!!!
!
!
9!
Shady!is!most!like!the!collage!mix!and!match!fusion!of!Bebin!TV!shows!
described!by!Rohani.!!She!is!the!most!web-savy!of!the!three:!she!works!in!IT,!has!a!
band,!uses!anonymizer!encryption!software!to!embed!some!parts!of!her!websites!
within!others!and!to!hide!her!IP!address!so!profiles!of!her!are!harder!to!collect,!and!
has!a!morphing!avatar.!!She!writes!mainly!in!English!with!some!transliterated!
Persian.!!Still,!half!the!links!on!her!site!are!to!Persian!language!sites.!!She!exchanges!
messages!with!her!cousins!in!Iran!in!transliterated!Persian,!and!she!uses!California!
popular!culture!as!a!way!to!comment!on!various!issues.!!Her!first!blog!post!(June!
2002)!was!called,!“Ground!Control!to!Major!Tom”!(from!David!Bowie’s!6.%02!
]''/+M).!!Pierce!suggests!that!while!initially!the!site!seemed!to!project!a!superficial!
life!revolving!around!pop!culture!!favorite!bands,!celebrity!sightings,!television!
programs!–!!gradually!Shady!wove!a!rich!tapestry!of!a!conflicted!life,!including!the!
pressure!from!her!mother!to!conform!to!the!latter’s!idea!of!a!Persian!woman,!
commentaries!on!women!roles!in!Tehran!and!San!Francisco,!and!her!memories!of!
Iranian!relatives.!!!
!
\%-,'%'!\C&)/)-,!by!contrast!is!a!war!blog!by!a!college-educated!database!
engineer!intended!to!cover!things!the!mainstream!media!overlooked!or!
misinterpreted.!!Rivergirl!sharply!contests!representations!of!Iraqi!women!as!
needing!liberation!(cherishing!the!rights!of!Iraqi!women!over!the!gilded!cage!of!
women!in!Kuwait!and!Saudi!Arabia),!and!sarcastically!protests!restriction!of!
reconstruction!contracts!to!Americans.!!But!her!final!blog!in!2003!about!losing!her!
job,!admits!that!she!could!not!be!employed!any!more!because!she!is!a!woman.!!!!
!!
5#+2(!#G!%)!;&%)/%)!-/&8,!lies!somewhere!between!the!political!edginess!of!
\%-,'%'!\C&)/)-!and!the!negotiations!of!conflicts!via!pop!culture.!!Again,!Pierce!
discerns!a!trajectory!in!the!blog,!this!time!from!a!desire!to!report!to!the!outside!
world!on!the!everyday!life!of!a!teenager!studying!for!her!university!entrance!exams,!
to!first!some!reflections!on!the!Iran-Iraq!war!as!it!affects!such!a!girl’s!life,!and!then!
more!and!more!reporting!on!the!arrests!of!bloggers,!even!linking!to!petitions!for!
regime!change!and!chastising!Iranians!for!not!standing!up!for!their!rights.!!The!style!
of!her!blog,!interestingly,!is!to!link!to!reports!rather!than!to!give!her!own!opinions,!
claiming!to!be!“only!a!very!young!girl”!who!can!only!report!on!how!things!affect!her!
life.!!She!uses!a!similar!citational!strategy!also!in!linking!to!pictures!of!women!and!
by!women!photographers.!!By!December!2003!“fear!finally!won”!and!she!posted!a!
final!good-bye.!
!
!While!Pierce’s!analysis!is!ethnographically!thin,!and!her!N!is!only!3,!her!
attentiveness!to!each!blog!as!an!evolving!corpus!in!relation!to!it’s!author’s!changing!
life!worlds,!and!her!sleuthing!the!semi-hidden!parts!of!the!blogs!!other!blogs!each!
of!the!bloggers!contributed!to,!information!about!the!bloggers’s!lives,!embedded!
sites,!and!the!like!provide!a!way!of!thinking!about!the!functioning!of!the!blogs!in!
social!context,!over!time,!and!their!strategies!for!negotiating!the!shifting!
public/private!and!other!divides!charted!by!Alexanian,!Rohani,!and!Naficy.!!!
!
!
10!
The!literature!on!blogs!as!yet!is!not!large,!consisting!of!short!pieces!by!
Behrouzan,!Doostdar,!and!a!few!others,!plus!the!tracking!of!the!cat-and-mouse!game!
for!control!of!the!internet!furiously!waged!since!June!2009!between!the!Green!Wave!
and!the!IRI’s!cyberwarriors.!!One!of!the!most!important!interventions!is!in!
Behrouzan’s!dissertation![now!in!her!2017!book],!noting!that!the!Persian!
blogosphere!is!critically!important!in!giving!an!affective!collective!voice!to!the!
1360s![1980s]!generation,!arguably!more!important!than!the!pundit!debates!about!
the!new!media’s!role!in!politics.!
!
1.1.2.!“Escape”,!the!Runaway.!![Shahrokhi]!
!
",2!D2&M!%0+!#G!2(0%.2!,%(!0#)aC&2'!C.!:C0,!%)J/2+M!%)'!'/(0#:G#&+!
! %:#)-!(#0/%8!28/+2(!%)'!:#&%8!%C+,#&/+/2(=!!;)!+,/(!D2/)V!.2&,%.(!2+,)#-&%.,M!
! 0#C8'!72!+,2!:#(+!(C/+%782!:2'/C:!G#&!7&/)-/)-!:C8+/.82!'27%+2(!%)'!!
%&-C:2)+(!%7#C+!+,2!&C)%$%M(!G%02<+#<G%02V!(#!+#!(.2%L=!!=!=!=!+,2!#7a20+/D2!#G!!
+,/(!(+C'Mb+#!:#D2!08#(2&!+#!-&#C)'!!!!--!Sholeh!Shahrokhi,!2008:!4-5.!!!
!
! Amidst!all!the!“6+C&:!C)'!1&%)-”,!turmoil!and!ferment,!of!rural-urban!
migration,!working!class!economic!straits,!and!gender!violence!in!the!family,!the!
figure!of!the!runaway!teenage!girl!has!become!a!modern!Tehrani!figuration!of!
concern!in!social!welfare!policy,!documentary!film,!and!women’s!journalism!
(especially!of!the!late!journal!c%)%)).!!Charting!the!lives!of!a!few!(N!=!9)!of!these!
girls,!Sholeh!Sharokhi!explores!their!fantasies!of!“escape”!and!empowerment!!
largely!by!quoting!them.!The!statistics!are!perhaps!shocking:!an!estimated!four!
thousand!girls!spend!the!nights!on!the!streets!of!Tehran,!an!estimated!twenty!
thousand!girls!and!forty!thousand!boys!are!runaways.!!The!nine!short!life!histories!
prior!to!running!away,!Shahrokhi!provides,!are!often!not!pretty!!worthy!of!escaping!
–!but!they!are!not!all!dire,!nor!all!from!the!underclass,!and!the!sense!of!agency!is!
palpable.!!Some,!she!says,!recite!the!poetry!of!Forough!Farokhzad,!cite!Sadeqh!
Hedayat,!and!invoke!the!iconic!figures!of!Shirin!(courage!to!fight!for!love)!and!Leila!
(selflessness).!!!!!
!
!Shahrokhi!tries!to!neither!pathologize!nor!romanticize:!“For!the!runaways!
being!urban!does!not!transform!them!into!a!modern!subject!and!living!on!the!street!
does!not!automatically!translate!to!being!politically!rebellious.!Yet!the!very!act!of!
escape!has!conjured!up!much!anxiety!and!discomfort!among!social!elites!and!moral!
authorities.!!In!this!vein,!she!says,!perhaps!ethnography!could!be!the!most!suitable!
medium!for!bringing!multiple!debates!and!arguments!about!the!runaways!“face-to-
face,!so!to!speak”!(p.!4).!!Further,!she!wants!to!evoke!the!“complex!web!of!
meaningful!fantasies!and!informed!desires!that!the!category!of!runaway!youth!has!
embodied.!!Being!under-aged!and!in!their!teen!years,!simultaneously!mobilizes!
notions!of!innocence!(childhood),!fleeting!instability!(liminality),!and!perversity!
(sexual!sociability)”!(p.!11).!!
!
! The!ethnographic!sites,!she!explains,!are!ephemeral!and!shifting,!both!
physical!and!virtual.!!The!physical!sites!for!ethnographic!encounter!are!mainly!the!!
!
11!
public!parks,!and!a!particular!public!“ladies!room”!in!Laleh!Park.!!The!virtual!ones!
are!on-line!diaries,!blogs,!and!chat!rooms!on!EdA!e%,##fV!]&LC+!and!%D/R#C)=0#:,!!
“where!runaways!selectively!hooked!up!with!each!other!and!the!larger!youth!
population”!(12).!!Indeed,!one!of!the!ethnographic!objects!is!“learning!what!it!means!
to!be!an!urban,!sexual,!and!youthful!subject,”!and!Shahrokhi!is!particularly!good!in!
not!reducing!the!sexual!subject!to!mere!prostitution!as!the!social!deviance!literature!
(%(/7(,2)%(/<M/!2a+2:%/2)!tends!to!do.!!(“People!always!judge!what!they!don’t!
understand”!!--!Delaram,!a!teen!runaway!in!Shahrokhi!2008.)!Shahrokhi!cruises!in!
cars!with!boys!who!share!memorable!stories!of!picking!up!runaway!girls,!show!her!
how!to!read!a!crowd!in!a!shopping!mall,!how!to!discriminate!between!prostitutes!
and!runaways,!how!to!recognize!body!language,!and!help!her!navigate!through!the!
chat!rooms!where!they!arrange!meetings!with!self-identified!runaways.!!The!girls!
themselves!fiercely!defend!their!way!of!life,!some,!of!course,!having!an!easier!time!of!
it!than!others,!trading!sex!not!only!for!a!place!to!sleep,!but!enjoying!good!food!and!
drink!in!extravagant!partying!with!the!men!they!encounter!and!with!whom!they!
sometimes!establish!periodic!relationships.!!Indeed!the!first!site!Shahrokhi!takes!us!
to!is!a!beauty!salon!where!those!who!have!the!money!can!have!themselves!styled.!!!
!
! In!a!separate!chapter,!Shahrokhi!reviews!eleven!documentary!and!narrative!
films!that!treat!runaways!either!directly!or!indirectly.!!It!might!be!interesting!to!get!
the!ethnographic!background!on!the!making!of!these!films!and!integrate!them!into!
the!accounts!of!meeting!runaways!not!just!in!the!ladies!room!and!parks,!but!in!taxis,!
in!cafes,!and!elsewhere.!!It!would!also!be!good!to!learn!more!about!the!researchers!
whose!theses!Shahrokhi!says!she!has!read!(but!doesn’t!cite!them!in!particular),!the!
academics!and!government!researchers,!the!police!and!courts!who!deal!with!the!
runaways,!and!the!NGOs!and!services!provided!to!them!(with!whom!Shahrokhi!says!
she!worked).!!In!her!impressive!list!of!acknowledgments!she!makes!Tehran!seem!
like!a!real!working!city,!but!then!the!focus!of!her!ethnography!seems!a!bit!abstracted!
from!these!acknowledged!contexts.!!!
!
1.1.3.! “Negotiating!media!control”![Zeynabadinejad]!
!
! One!of!the!best!examples!of!slowly!working!one’s!way!into!fraught!!
ethnographic!contexts!is!Zeydabadi-nejad’s!investigation!into!the!negotiations!over!
cinema!censorship.!!Aside!from!Hamid!Nafici’s!(still!unpublished!in!2010![now!
published],!thousand!page)!magisterial!survey!of!all!the!films!produced!in!Iran,!
Zeynabadinejad’s!dissertation,!now!book,!is!the!only!ethnographic!work!to!provide!a!
chronology!and!characterization!of!the!changing!regimes!and!players!in!the!Ministry!
of!Culture!and!Islamic!Guidance!(MCIG)!and!its!cinema!division.!It!is!foundational!
for!anyone!else!who!wants!to!tease!out!some!of!the!dynamics!of!the!past!three!
decades,!and!is!the!only!work!to!track!exactly!how!the!negotiation!process!of!
approvals!or!censorship!works!and!has!changed!under!different!administrations.!!
This!also!throws!an!interesting!new!light!on!the!muddled!field!of!reception!studies,!
since!it!depends!neither!on!just!a!few!focus!group!studies,!nor!on!box!office!or!cvd!
and!dvd!sales!statistics,!nor!on!just!the!outcomes!(bans,!lengths!of!runs,!prizes),!but!
invokes!the!arguments,!weighing!of!political!concerns!at!each!historical!moment,!
!
12!
and!internal!politics!of!the!MCIG!as!itself!a!register!of!the!ebbs!and!flow!of!public!
concerns.!!Zeynabadinejad’s!account!of!negotiations!about!production!(and!
screening)!work!through!networks!of!friendship,!trust,!as!well!as!factional!politics,!
and!through!learning!to!navigate!regulatory!and!judicial!structures!broaden!and!
complements!my!own!efforts!to!show!how!the!films!themselves!both!model!and!
open!up!social!reconstruction,!moral!reasoning,!argumentation,!and!symbolic!
assertion!and!counter-assertion,!especially!in!the!arenas!of!the!repair!of!society!in!
the!aftermath!of!war!especially!around!the!peripheries!of!Iran.!!The!ethnographic!
eye!(and!ear),!unlike!some!film!critics,!is!not!concerned!to!“fix!the!meaning!of!films,”!
but!rather!look!to!“cinema!as!a!situated!social/political!practice”!(p.!10).!!!
!
1.1.4.! “Art!&!Memory”![Hemami,!Lotfalian,!Zandian]!
!
! A!new!ethnographic!arena!are!galleries,!museums,!and!performances!where!
new!artworks!enter!the!circulatory!systems!of!capital!and!status,!distinction!and!
value,!as!well!as!memory!and!imagination.!!Hemami’s!use!of!a!cache!of!documents!
and!photographs!from!an!earlier!period!is!a!twin!to!the!digging!up!of!a!cache!of!
leftist!documents!from!a!front!yard!in!a!village!north!of!Tehran!by!Javidzadeh!(see!
1.5).!!Javidzadeh!uses!his!cache!to!try!to!document!the!ways!in!which!Iranian!
Marxists!came!to!adopt!Islamic!language!and!to!attempt!(unsuccessfully)!to!ally!(or!
not)!with!the!“line!of!the!Imam”!(Khomeini)!and!Islamic!Republic!of!Iran.!!!Hemami,!
by!contrast,!uses!her!cache!to!invite!participation!by!all!those!who!have!memories!
and!perspectives!to!expand!the!interpretive!reach!of!one!project!or!one!deciphering!
of!history.!!Both!projects!are!invested!in!the!transmission!of!knowledge!across!
generations,!and!both!are!open!to!differences!of!position.!!It!is!a!potentially!fruitful!
engagement!between!historical!and!artistic-performance!methods.!!Both!are!
needed.!!As!Hemami!nicely!puts!it,!“most!of!the![Iranian]!artists!/)D#8D2'!,%'!8/++82!
L)#$82'-2!#G!+,2!,/(+#&M!#G!+,2!.2&/#'!%)'!needed!help!from!across!generations!to!
elucidate!the!material=!!",/(!.&#02((!82'!+#!2J0,%)-2!#G!(+#&/2(V!:M+,(V!%)'!,/(+#&/2(!
%)'!created!a!conducive!environment!for!raising!questions!%)'!+&M/)-!+#!&2D/(/+!
0&/+/0%8!2&%!+,&#C-,!+,2!'#0C:2)+(”!(2009:!95).!!!This!is!not!only!a!generational!
transmission!problem,!analogous!to!the!generational!and!historical!break!in!the!
ethnographic!dowreh!effected!by!the!revolution!and!that!this!workshop!is!
attempting!to!heal!or!reconnect,!or!re-evaluate.!!It!is!more!importantly!a!form!of!
active!ethnographic!knowledge!production!through!the!re-collection,!recollection,!
questioning,!creating!a!critical!and!open!discourse,!and!thereby!:%L/)-!meaningful!
(both!in!a!more!documentary!sense!and!as!well!with!new!historical!perspectives)!of!
knowledges!that!had!been!fragmented!and!dispersed,!but!not!completely!lost.!!!!!!
!
!In!his!newer!work!(because!of!the!newness!of!this!arena!of!ethnography,!I!
stray!beyond!my!“first!projects”!brief),!Lotfalian!maps!out!a!series!of!genres!and!
spaces!in!which!the!nexi!of!artistic!reflection!operate:!stagings!of!+%R/M2,!at!Lincoln!
Center,!performances!of!Shirin!Neshat’s!‘Attar’s!Conference!of!the!Birds!in!a!modern!
abstract!version!at!The!Kitchen!in!New!York,!art!conferences!and!markets!in!Berlin!
and!Dubai,!and!now!galleries!and!museums!in!Tehran.!!What!is!ethnographically!
distinctive!about!this!work,!and!quite!different!from!art!criticism,!is!the!attention!to!
!
13!
how!art!spaces!are!what!he!calls!“spaces!of!friction”!where!the!traditions!of!
mentorship!in!painting!and!the!tastes!of!the!capitalized!art!markets!collide,!where!
cultural!capital!is!created!and!exchanged,!and!where!the!politics!of!museums!as!civic!
endeavors!rub!uneasily!against!art!as!experimental!and!unsettling.!!(A!special!issue!
of!3&+!g&2((@!“L’Iran!Devoile!Par!Ses!Artistes/!Iran!Unveiled,!edited!by!Mahmoud!
Bahmanpour!and!Catherine!Millet,!provides!some!lovely!visuals!to!complement!both!
Lotfalian’s!and!Rohani’s!ethnographic!work,!but!the!text!there!is!exceedingly!“thin”!
analytically!and!conceptually.)!
!
! An!architecture!M.A.!thesis!might!provide!a!coda!here.!!Nastaran!Zandian!
provides!a!thoughtful!plan!for!an!Iranian!cultural!center!in!Washington,!D.C.!in!the!
Dupont!Circle!area.!!Incorporating!motifs!from!Iranian!architecture!into!a!modern!
building,!it!is!also!intended!to!be!an!interactive!space!bringing!Americans!and!
Iranians!together,!providing)a)platform!for!Iranian-Americans!to!develop!their!
own!confident)sensibilities!within)an)symbolically)resonant)urban)space!that!
Lotafalian!might!characterize!as!a!friction!space!for!both!modernist!and!traditional!
currents!of!identity.!!The!Dupont!Circle!neighborhood!is!the!home!of!The!Johns!
Hopkins!School!of!Advanced!International!Studies,!the!Carnegie!Endowment!for!
International!Peace,!the!Institute!for!International!Economics,!the!Brookings!
Institution,!as!well!as!museums,!galleries,!restaurants,!embassies,!elegant!buildings,!
hotels,!and!student!hangouts.!The!building!envisioned!looks!more!modernist!than!
traditional,!but!incorporates!the!ideas!of!interior!courtyards,!a!pool,!lattice!work,!
and!a!variety!of!functional!spaces!from!auditorium,!to!library!and!IT!rooms,!cafes!
and!health!club.!!!!
!
!
1.1.5.!“Youth!culture”!![Khosravi,!Shahrokhi,!Rohani,!Zahir]!
!
!Like!Zeydabadi-Nejad!and!Shahrokhi,!Shahram!Khosravi’s!dissertation,!now!
book,!enters!a!fraught!ethnographic!context.!!!Youth!culture,!as!he!dramatically!
explains,!has!essentially!been!“criminalized”!by!the!IRI.!!Even!the!IRI’s!social!
statistics!on!youth!are!semi-state!secrets.!!One!of!the!most!important!ethnographic!
moments!in!Khosravi’s!account!is!his!interview!with!an!older!baseej!who!talks!about!
both!himself!and!the!younger!baseej.!!Another!iconic!ethnographic!scene!is!the!
description!of!the!evening!ritual!battles!between!Shahr-e!Garb!youth!and!youth!
from!south!Tehran!outside!the!mall,!combined!with!the!recognition!of!the!latter!
coming!to!the!mall!to!fantasize!about!being!part!of!that!commodity!world.!!Class!and!
culture)clash,)desire)and)ressentiment,!as!well!as!the!jouissance)of)the)jousting.!!
By!focusing!on!a!key!neighborhood,!Khosravi!begins!to!provide!an!ethnographic!
map!of!Tehran’s!urban!environments,!one!that!allows!other!ethnographic!sites!to!
become!both!additive!(further!mapping!other!parts!of!Tehran,!other!kinds!of!of!
urban!life)!and!integrative!(showing!how!differences!in!urban!lives!interact).!!!
!
Shahrokhi’s!accounts!also!illustrate!just!such!adjacent!and!interactive!spaces:!
(i)!Laleh!Park,!(ii)!cruising!with!boys!in!their!cars!down!Vali!Asr,!(iii)!two!parks!
further!north,!and!(iv)!the!drug!ridden!park!near!Razi!Hospital!and!where!the!
!
14!
Shahr-e!Now!(the!old!red-light!district,!at!what!once!was!the!fort!and!the!Qazvin!
gate!of!the!nineteenth!century!town)!used!to!be.!!Other!spaces!are!provided!by!
Keshavarzian’s!account!of!the!Tehran!bazaar,!Makhmalbaf’s!portraits!of!the!edges!of!
the!bazaar!in!the!film!",2!!g2''82&,!and!Mehrjui’s!searing!picture!of!encampments!of!
the!homeless!drug!addicts!in!the!northern!hills!of!the!city!in!his!film!6%)+#C&,!
juxtaposed!to!the!fast!life!of!the!physician!father,!and!the!more!syncopated!life!of!
despair!amidst!moments!of!ecstasy!among!musicians.!!!
!
;)'22'V!/+!is!film!+,%+!#D2&!+,2!.%(+!+$#!'20%'2(!,%(!722)!doing!much!of!the!
work!of!ethnographic!mapping:!the!mid-town!depression!of!middle!class!
professional!women!in!Nikki!Karimi’s!B,%)'!NCR!\%'!(6#:2!1%M(!3G+2&,!2006),!a!
portrait!of!a!successful!high-end!advertising!creative;!the!lives!of!struggling!working!
class!families!in!Bani-Etemad’s!c/&<2!gC(+<2!6,%,&!(_)'2&!+,2!6L/)!#G!+,2!B/+M,!2001);!
and!her!portrait!of!the!House!of!the!Sun!in!the!Darvazeh!neighborhood,!a!shelter!and!
rehabilitation!center!for!runaway!girls!(3)-28(!#G!+,2!`#C(2!#G!+,2!6C),!2006).!!A!
number!of!films!explicitly!travel!across!Tehran!social!spaces,!juxtaposing,!
contrasting,!showing!spaces!of!interaction,!mapping.!!!Panahi!and!Kiarostami’s!
"%8%M2!6#&L,!(Crimson!and!Gold,!2003)!travels!with!an!ill!veteran!working!as!a!
pizza-delivery!man,!from!living!in!a!south!Tehran!single!Spartan!room,!up!town!to!
the!fancy!new!high!rises!and!the!wealthy!jewelry!stores;!!Asghar!Farhadi’s!
B,%,&(,%:72,!6C&/!(h2')2('%M!9/&2$#&L(,!2006)!travels!with!a!maid!from!the!south!
to!the!spacious!apartment!of!a!neurotic!couple!in!the!north!and!then!back!south!
through!the!bonfires!of!!the!last!Wednesday!night!of!the!year!(Charhshabeh!Suri)!
that!cinematically!hint!at!a!cultural!!war!zone!and!presage!the!explosions!of!2009.!!
!
Documentaries!of!the!music!scene,!such!as!Amir!Hamz!and!Mark!Lazarz’s!!
6#+<2!6#LC+!(6#C)'(!#G!6/82)02,!2006)!amplify!and!modulate!perspectives!on!youth!
culture,!and!Sanan!Zahir,!in!his!MA!thesis,!begins!to!analyze!the!lyrics!of!the!children!
of!the!revolution.!!!
!
1.2)))Gay!Selves!(Moinzadeh)!
!
! Among!the!various!dissertations!on!contemporary!identity!issues,!
Hassan!Ali!Moinzadeh’s!“Secret!of!Gay!Being:!Embodying!Homosexual!Libido!in!the!
Iranian!Imagination,”!is!one!of!the!more!challenging!(to!the!(2)(C(!0#::C)/(!
tightrope!or!bar!separating!the!sacred!and!the!profane,!the!mystical!and!the!carnal,!
the!metaphorical!and!the!literal).!!Written!for!a!clinical!psychology!degree!with!a!
Jungian!bent,!not!an!ethnographic!one,!it!ventures!into!a!highly!fraught!space,!only!
partly!acknowledged.!!It!is!an!American!coming-out!and!ego-affirming!story,!and!it!is!
careful!not!to!make!either!wider!therapeutic!or!descriptive!claims.!!What!it!does!
well!is!to!excavate!an!ambiguously!central!and!ex-centric!tradition!in!Persian!
culture,!and!refunction!it!for!contemporary!psychology.!!As!Moinzadeh!puts!it,!he!
attempts!to!“bridge!the!gap!between!the!metaphysical!language!I!encounter!in!
ancient!texts!and!the!meanings!I!understand!as!a!modern!person.”!!!The!key!task!is!
working!out!a!psychological!template!(the!clinical!psychology!side),!and!in!the!
process!doing!serious!new!translations!of!old!texts!(the!cultural!critique!side).!!
!
15!
!
! At!issue!is!the!Platonic-Iranian!tradition!of!modeling!the!training!of!the!self!
on!the!model!of!love!for!boys,!expressed,!in!the!poetry!of!Jami,!Attar,!Rumi,!Hafez,!in!
Suhravardi,!and!even,!he!identifies,!in!the!hadith!and!the!Qur’an!itself.!!He!remains!
respectful!of!the!ambiguity!and!undecidability!of!what!is!metaphor!about!love!of!the!
divine!and!what!is!physical,!while!at!the!same!time!using!those!resources!to!create!a!
charter!myth!for!strengthening!the!self!respect!and!independence!of!a!modern!
Iranian!born,!Iranian-American!gay!man.!!In!American!fashion,!he!begins!by!saying,!
“I!use!the!term!gay!to!describe!someone!who!consciously!and!purposefully!
recognizes!a!gay!identity!in!public!as!well!as!private!life!and!actively!seeks!to!further!
the!rights!and!visibility!of!gay!people!in!society.!.!.!.!using!the!conscious!awareness!
that!one’s!same!sex!desires!separate!one!from!the!rest!of!society”!and!that!this!
conscious!alienation!“precedes!the!modern!era!and!reaches!back!to!the!earliest!
histories!of!peoples!and!cultures!throughout!the!world.!I!include!pre-modern!folk!
who!have!used!homosexual!love!as!an!engine!for!their!own!spiritual!
transformation.”!!He!explicitly!excludes!those!who!simply!engage!in!homosexual!
activities!in!private,!and!those!who!use!homosexual!sex!as!a!tool!of!domination,!
topics!of!concern!in!today’s!worlds!of!sexualized!torture!in!Iran’s!prisons!to!break!
people,!of!harsh!choices!in!Iran!for!those!accused!of!homosexuality,!and!of!a!U.N.!
campaign!to!stop!the!recruitment!from!the!poor,!and!prostitution!of,!young!dancing!
boys!in!Afghanistan!who,!it!is!said,!would!not!organize!their!identity!around!same-
sex!desire!of!their!own!free!will.2)!!!The!stakes!are!high!in!negotiating!the!discourse!
on!the!level!of!psychological!maturation!and!on!the!metaphorics!of!what!Levi-
Strauss!called!the!“effectiveness!of!symbols.”!!
!
! The!histories!of!the!Malamatiyya,!Qandari,!and!Javanmardi!movements!
provide!historical!materials,!as!does!the!idea!of!the!&2)'!(rogue)!in!poetry,!and!both!
the!poetic!tradition!of!Attar,!Rumi,!and!Hafez,!and!the!philosophical!meditations!of!
Suhravardi!(and!others).!!!Moinzadeh!nicely!and!seamlessly!includes!the!love!
modeled!in!the!Qur’anic!version!of!the!story!of!Yusef!and!Zulaikha!(where,!in!a!
simple!structural!permutation!of!gender!roles,!it!is!the!woman!Zulaikha!who!is!the!
lover!and!Joseph!is!the!beloved).!!But!it!is!a!modern!hermeneutical!tradition!—!of!
Henri!Corbin,!Carl!Jung,!and!Martin!Heidegger!!that!is!key!for!helping!Moinzadeh!
with!his!critical!tools!for!clinical!psychology.!!This!is!a!fascinating!and!still!half-
submerged!!tradition!in!the!cultural!politics!of!contemporary!Iran!(and!one!that!
Moinzadeh!does!not!explore,!but!that!Behrouzan!and!I!have!begun!to).!!!
!
Jung!provides!Moinzadeh!tools!of!depth!psychology,!using!universalized!
archetypes!to!teach!the!self!to!separate!from!maternal!engulfment,!and!to!
discriminate!one’s!interior!aspirational!double!and!one’s!interior!negative!shadow!
from!one’s!maturing!independent!self.!!(The!shadow!in!this!case!is!especially!the!
internalized!self-accusations!of!shame!and!humiliation!for!one’s!gay!desires.)!!Jung,!
although!supplying!the!hemaphrodite!as!an!image!of!the!original!whole!self,!both!
male!and!female,!was!homophobic!in!the!style!of!his!time,!but!his!methods!offer!
some!critical!tools.!!It!is!Henri!Corbin,!much!honored!in!Iran,!who!would!apply!
Jungian!and!Heideggerian!ideas!to!the!task!of!recovering!the!“theosophical!wisdom”!
!
16!
of!Zoroastrian!rhetorical!imagery!and!of!the!illuminationist!(/(,&%i/)!philosophy!of!
Iran’s!mystical!traditions!represented!by!Suhravardi.!!Suhravardi!and!the!mystical!
tradition!provides!a!language,!imaginal!and!metaphoric,!of!steps,!stages,!and!
techniques!for!the!self!to!train!itself!towards!mature!understandings!of!reality!and!
separation!from!the!mere!carnal!temptations!of!the!world.!!Corbin!connects!Plato’s!
Ideas,!Suhravardi’s!%8%:<2!:2(%8!and!his!own!Catholic!Latinate!:C)'C(!/:%-/)%8/(=!!
Moinzadeh!uses!this!in!a!Jungian!mode!of!therapeutic!working!through!the!shame!
and!humiliations!of!growing!up!gay,!creating!an!“effectiveness!of!symbols”!
abreaction!technique!to!create!horizons!of!subjectivity!that!can!distance!themselves!
from!the!shadow!self-accusatory!self,!and!identify!instead!with!a!heterodox!but!
powerful!Iranian!cultural!tradition.!!!!
!
The!significance!of!Jung!for!Moinzadeh!may!come!more!from!where!he!
pursued!his!Ph.D.,!an!American!clinical!psychology!program!with!apparently!a!
strong!Jungian!bent,!than!from!Iranian!contexts.!!But!the!Jung-Corbin-Heidegger!
connection!is!also!a!nexus!of!cultural!politics!in!Iran..!!Corbin!worked!in!Iran!with!
the!famed!cleric-scholar!Allameh!Tabataba’i!in!Qum,!and!Tababataba’i’s!circle!
became!quite!influential,!including!such!notables!as!Darius!Shayegan!(a!comparative!
literature!and!religion!scholar),!S.!Hussein!Nasr!(a!guru!in!the!1970s!for!Americans!
seeking!Eastern!wisdom!as!well!as!a!university!chancellor!and!founder!of!the!
Institute!of!Philosophy!in!Tehran),!and!Mehdi!Bazargan!(an!engineer!and!head!of!
the!provisional!government!after!the!revolution!who!long!mediated!between!the!
secular!and!religious!elites).!!Tabataba’i!was!also!a!teacher!of!Khomeini,!Montazeri,!
and!Motahhari,!all!of!whom!walked!the!tightrope!between!mysticism!and!puritan!
orthodoxy.!!Heidegger,!whom!Corbin!translated!into!French,!has!become!something!
of!a!fad!in!recent!years!among!conservative!philosophers!in!Iran.!!!!!
!
There!are!more!layers!to!this!cultural!arena!than!at!first!appear,!and!a!valid!
ethnographic!question!might!be!what!qualities!of!ethnographic!tapestries!can!one!
weave!with!thicker!versus!thinner!ethnographic!explorations,!deeper!play!versus!
quicker!instrumental!assessments,!and!in!what!sorts!of!social!spaces!can!they!be!
appreciated,!considered,!or!rejected.!!!
!
!
1.3.!!Psychiatric!Selves!(Behrouzan)!![Chini,!Khanideh]!!!
!
Amidst!all!the!talk!of!depression,!trauma,!exile,!and!dislocation,!no!one!yet!
has!tried!to!put!together!the!materials!for!a!history!of!psychiatry!in!Iran,!although!a!
number!have!written!about!affects!and!emotions.!!Orkideh!Behrouzan’s!dissertation!!
does!this!both!through!particular!cases!studies!of!dealing!with!medicalization!of!
social!problems!(ADHD,!HIV/AIDS,!depression!among!the!professionals!of!the!
“1360s![1980s]!generation”,!and!through!charting!the!institutional!history!and!the!
history!of!psychiatric!explanations,!including!Avicennan!(ibn!Sina)!accounts!of!
depression!once!also!popular!in!Europe,!neurological!ones!in!the!1930s!and!1940s,!
Freudian!ones!in!the!1950s,!Jungian-Heideggerian!ones!in!the!1960s,!and!split!
psychosocial!and!neuro-pharmacological!ones!today.!!Along!with!these,!there!are!
!
17!
also!self-help!psychologies,!especially!the!g%&D%&2(,!5/&##M2,!*)(%)/!(PANA)!
movement!founded!by!Ebrahim!Khaajeh!Nouri,!as!well!as!claims!for!Islamic!self-
discipline!as!cultural!defense!mechanisms!against!mental!distress!(e.g.,!in!the!Sacred!
Defense!documentary!films!of!the!Iran-Iraq!war!that!Varzi!and!Sorabi!have!written!
about),!and!the!counter!concerns!of!psychiatrists!that!obsessive!Islamicist!discipline!
has!led!many!youth!into!serious!dysphoria,!flattened!affect,!and!inability!to!deal!with!
the!opposite!sex.!
!
There!seems!to!have!been!a!paradigm!shift!from!even!the!1980s!to!today!
from!poetic,!philosophical!indirection!in!expressing!concerns!about!trauma,!
relationships,!and!mental!distress!to!today’s!talk!shows!vibrant!with!public!
discourse!about!psychiatric!selves.!!Behrouzan!calls!this!transformation!the!rise!of!
the!psychiatric!self.!!It!is!quite!different!from!the!time!when!Good,!Good!and!Moradi!
wrote!about!depression!among!Iranian!immigrants!in!California!in!the!1980s,!or!
when!Lotfalian!interviewed!Iranian!therapists!in!California!and!analyzed!some!of!
the!dramatic!cases!of!public!acting!out!such!as!the!hostage!taking!in!Berkeley,!or!
when!Abedi!and!Fischer!explored!dysfunctions!in!marriages!in!Houston!in!the!
1980s.!!These!discourses!are!not!just!imported!from!California!to!Tehran,!as!
Behrouzan!underscores!with!her!accounts!of!the!PANA!movement.!!!
!
The!negotiation!of!such!discourses!is!not!just!a!matter!of!rhetoric!but!also!
navigates!deep!social!waters.!!Even!the!IRI,!in!January!2009,!raised!alarm!over!the!
widespread!dysphoria!of!the!culture!imposed!in!Iran!and!called!for!initiatives!to!
socially!engineer!happiness.!!More!intricately,!Behourzan!charts!the!complex!ways!
in!which!Iran!managed!to!acquire!a!WHO!certified!“Best!Practices”!acknowledgment!
for!its!national!HIV/AIDS!triangular!clinics!program;!overmedication!of!Ritalin!for!
ADHD!may!be!the!result!of!the!generation!of!the!1360s![1980s]!psychological!
distresses!(envy,!feeling!cheated,!burned,!asphyxiated)!visited!unintentionally,!
psychodynamically,!on!their!children;!and!how!the!Café!Ruzbeh!(a!vibrant!
interdisciplinary!discussion!group!at!Imam!Khomeini!Hospital)!has!itself!been!
slowly!asphyxiated!by!the!need!to!justify!everything!in!terms!of!
neuropharmacology.!
!
These!are!issues!that!resonate!widely!across!the!society!from!villages!to!
upper!classes,!from!war!veterans!to!the!unemployed!graduates!of!elite!universities,!
from!children!to!adults,!from!clinics!to!movies,!and!above!all!from!revolutionary!
rage!to!resigned!pragmatism!that!play!out!in!everyday!interactions.!!No!wonder!the!
public!health!statistics!of!the!Ministry!of!Health!are!semi-state!secrets.!!!
!
I!hesitate!to!include!here!the!psychology!dissertations!that!are!beginning!to!
be!written!(e.g.,!Chini,!Khanideh)!except!as!themselves!ethnographic!objects!and!
indexes!of!the!importance!and!“native”!attention!to!problems!of!depression,!PTSD,!
culture!shock,!acculturation!or!feelings!of!remaining!in!exilic!limbo;!and!as!indexes!
of!the!observations!of!Behrouzan!about!the!numbers!of!younger!generation!people!
choosing!psychology!as!their!profession,!possibly!as!their!way!of!dealing!with!
precisely!a!widespread!intergenerational!discomfort.!!These!dissertations!tend!to!be!
!
18!
formalistic!exercises!in!the!application!of!questionnaires!and!scales,!with!little!
ethnographic!content!or!curiosity.!!Their!results!are!even!acknowledged!to!be!of!
minimal!significance,!although!the!experience!of!doing!the!work!may!well!have!
provided!some!experiential!insight!and!expanded!awareness!to!the!researchers.!
!
!
1.4.!!The!Feminine!and!Feminist!Selves:!Beauty!and!(Dis)Empowerment!
(Mahdavi)!
!
!What!is!going!on!with!the!young!generation!in!Iran!(politically,!
psychologically)!is!a!topic!of!considerable!interest!and!significance.!This!generation!
is!now!demographically!the!bulk!of!the!population!(70%!under!the!age!of!30),!and!
Iran!remains!one!of!the!most!important!countries!in!the!region.!!Mahdavi’s!
g%((/#)%+2!_.&/(/)-(,!now!a!book,!like!Roxanne!Varzi’s!and!perhaps!even!more!so,!
addresses!a!particular!slice!of!middle!class!and!upper!middle!class!Tehran!although!
claiming!wider!provenance.!!!Mahdavi!makes!three!claims:!(1)!a!descriptive!claim!
that!there!is!widespread!sexual!intensity,!extra-marital!as!well!as!premarital,!that!
goes!on!behind!the!repressive!façade!of!the!Islamic!Republic,!and!that!this!is!not!just!
an!upper!and!upper!middle!class!phenomenon,!but!extends!into!the!urban!lower!
classes;!(2)!a!political!sociological!claim!that!this!intensity!of!sexual!activity!is!a!
politics:!!that!these!young!Iranians!self-describe!their!activity!as!a!sexual!revolution,!
with!the!accent!on!it!being!a!protest!against!the!official!politics!and!a!revolution!that!
uses!sexuality!as!its!means!of!expression,!and!a!conscious!politics!insofar!as!it!is!
pursued!at!great!risk!(of!imprisonment!by!the!morality!police;!!of!excommunication!
by!family,!and!even,!if!rarely,!death!by!execution;!!and!of!disease,!about!which!this!
generation,!Mahdavi!claims,!is!frighteningly!misinformed,!!in!large!part!due!to!the!
state’s!dismantling!of,!or!introducing!repressive!forms!of,!sexual!education);!(3)!!a!
mental!health!and!a!public!health!claim!that!the!dynamics!of!this!sexual!revolution!
has!to!do!with!boredom,!emptiness!of!life,!depression,!and!a!widely!un-recognized!
mental!health!burden,!as!well!as!a!serious!danger!of!spreading!HIV/AIDs!and!other!
sexually!transmitted!diseases.!!!
! The!evidence!presented!for!these!claims!are!of!varying!solidity,!and!it!is!here!
that!ethnographic!texture!is!critical!and!is!the!means!for!readers’!evaluation.!!The!
problems!of!how!to!link!ethnographic!descriptions!and!claims!to!wider!contexts!is!
part!of!the!function!of!critique!(in!both!writing!and!reading!ethnography).!!A!
tenured!professor!of!anthropology!is!credited!with!being!a!confidante!and!sounding!
board!for!the!research,!but!that!scholar’s!work!is!never!cited!or!discussed.!!It!may!
not!be!relevant,!but!the!weaving!of!the!literature!into!the!ethnographic!story!is!
important!to!the!strengthening!of!the!evidential!and!contextual!claims.!!One!
wonders!how!8%a!7%R/!(playing!with!frustration)!can!really!be!a!politics,!but!the!
notion!of!8%a!7%R/!is!an!intriguing!one.!!!!!!!
!
!
1.5.!!Investments!in!Muslim,!Marxist,!or!Republican!Secular!Futures!(Javadzadeh)!
!
!
19!
! While!Alexanian,!Khosravi,!Rohani,!and!others!acknowledge!differences!
within!generational!experiences,!most!of!the!new!literature!seems!written!from!the!
point!of!view!of,!and!about,!the!well-to-do,!relatively!secular,!middle!classes.!!
Relatively!little!is!written!about!the!Pasdaran,!Baseeji,!politically!aggressive!Islamic!
side!of!the!revolution,!that!is,!not!the!strategic!accounts!of!military!or!political!
strength,!but!the!worldviews,!where!they!come!from,!how!they!think,!how!their!
biographies!unfold,!their!loves!and!aspirations.!!Much!in!the!diaspora!rests!on!
largely!unarticulated!“frozen”!pro-Shah!sentiments,!or,!equally!largely!only!signaled,!
backgrounds!in!leftist!family!pasts.!!Abdolrahim!Javadzedeh’s!dissertation!is!one!
attempt!to!get!at!the!sensibilities!of!Iranian!Marxists!inside!Iran!after!the!revolution,!
based!on!a!cache!of!documents!of!the!three!leftist!groups!that!attempted!to!ally!with!
the!Islamic!Republic!in!the!transitional!early!years.!!This!is!a!history!that!insiders!
know!in!their!bones,!that!outsiders!to!the!leftist!internecine!battles!find!
labyrinthian,!and!that!Javadzadeh!argues!helped!stabilized!the!Islamic!Republic!by!
identifying!leftist!opponents!for!the!IRI,!who!where!then!eliminated.!!!
!
!Javadzadeh!gives!accounts!of!the!Tudeh,!led!by!Kianuri!(ironically!a!grandson!
of!Ayatullah!Fatollah!Nuri!executed!by!the!Constitutional!Revolution!activists)!and!
at!times!intellectually!by!Ehsan!Tabari!(the!son!of!a!cleric).!He!gives!accounts!of!the!
(%R:%)<2!0,2&/L<,%<M2!G2'%22<2!L,%8-,<2!;&%)!(The!Organization!of!Iranian!People’s!
Fedaeean),!Majority,!and!Minority;!Paykar!((%R:%)<2!.%ML%&!'%&!&%,<2!%R%'/<2,!
+%7%-,2M2!L%&-%&);!the!Organization!of!Iranian!People’s!Mojaheddin!((%R:%)<2!
:a%,2'/)<2!L,%8-,<2!;&%));!and!the!Liberation!and!Equality!Group!(-#&C,<2!%R%'/!D%!
7%&%7%&/),!as!well!as!accounts!of!the!history!of!the!Theist-Socialist!Movement!
(a#)72(,<2!L,#'%.%&%(+%)<2!(#0/%8/(+)!from!which!Shariati!(father!and!son)!emerged,!
the!Nezhat-e!Azadi!(Liberation!Movement),!and!the!checquered!histories!of!the!
several!National!Fronts.!
Aside!from!discussions!with!his!childhood!friend!who!gave!him!the!cache!of!
documents,!Javadzadeh!also!relies!upon!the!memoir!by!Maziar!Behrooz.!!Some!of!
the!tortured!reasoning!of!Kianuri!are!fascinating,!such!as!the!defense!of!Khalkhali!
(“He!accomplished!a!great!deal![as!state!attorney].!!He!executed!several!hundred!
pawns!of!imperialism!w!utmost!bravery.!.!.!.!We!believe!Khalkhali!has!made!a!
serious!mistake![in!executing!Tudeh!members]!and!we!wish!he!had!not.”)!!Like!
Ervand!Abrahamian’s!accounts!of!the!longer!runs!of!the!two!revolutions!of!1905-
1911!and!1979,!this!is!an!important!start,!but!remains!intellectual!history,!rather!
than!ethnographically!fleshed!out!in!the!consciousness!and!social!contexts!of!today’s!
generations.!!
!
! Javadzaeh’s!explorations!might!be!read!alongside!Ahmad!Hakkak’s!analysis!
of!the!poetry!of!the!secular!and!leftist!intelligentsia!in!the!immediate!aftermath!of!
the!revolution,!in!which!Hakkak!delineates!an!inability!to!reconcile!the!course!of!
history!as!they!imagined!with!its!actual!course.!!This!is!acknowledged!in!Esma’il!
Kho’i’s!sad!poem!“The!People!are!Forever!Right.”!!The!poets!and!poetic!prose!
writers!Shamlu,!Kho’i,!G.H.!Sa’edi!!write!of!their!renewed!alienation,!even,!in!
Shamlu’s!words,!bidding!“his!absent!beloved!–!and!his!larger!audience!!to!hide!
away!love,!light,!joy!and!finally!God.!.!.!in!a!series!of!defensive!actions!aimed!at!the!
!
20!
preservation!of!the!good!and!the!beautiful!.!.!..!in!the!face!of!evil!upon!the!earth”!
(Hakkak!1991:!519).!!!Poetry,!he!suggests,!is!particularly!bad!at!focusing!on!the!
complexities!of!political!process,!jumping!all!too!quickly!to!stark!oppositional!
contrasts!of!good!and!evil.!!Javadzadeh’s!account!throws!light!on!the!similar,!always!
already,!fantasy!elements!in!leftist!(and!all!ideological)!efforts!to!negotiate!political!
alliances.!!!!
!
! Given!the!amazing!twists!and!turns!in!many!individuals’!trajectories!through!
the!course!of!their!lives,!much!work!remains!to!be!done!in!the!ethnography!of!the!
various!social!“fractions”!of!the!generations!alive!today.!!!!!!
!
2.0!!!Continuing!Conversations!
!
The!relation!between!pre-revolution!ethnographic!studies!and!post-
revolution!ones!is!both!inherently!interesting,!and!fraught!in!the!delicacies!of!trying!
neither!to!privilege!current!efforts!nor!past!ones,!but!to!try!to!knit!an!ethnographic!
circle!of!discussion!among!perspectives,!evaluating!data,!bringing!new!materials!to!
bear,!and!so!on.!!!There!are!two!rhetorical!temptations!to!be!avoided:!dismissing!
earlier!work!as!outdated!or!worse!in!a!misplaced!effort!by!younger!scholars!to!claim!
new!bases!of!ethnographic!or!theoretical!authority;!dismissing!recent!work!as!
lacking!historical!perspective!or!understanding!of!context,!in!a!misplaced!effort!to!
assert!older!generational!privilege.!!If!there!is!change,!it!cannot!be!assumed!as!self-
evident,!but!should!be!demonstrated:!evidence!marshaled,!explanations!hazarded.!!
Perhaps!the!key!issue!in!terms!of!ethnographic!work!is!what!constitutes!the!
evaluative!criteria!by!which!we!recognize!validity!and!persuasiveness.!!Such!criteria!
include!data!of!various!kinds!(including!native!linguistic!and!cultural!forms!of!
expression,!their!critical!apparatuses!of!evaluation,!their!modes!of!cultural!
accounting);!the!creative!writing!skills!to!make!a!scene!or!point!of!view,!or!scenario!
of!struggle!and!debate,!or!scene!of!shifts!in!power!relations!appear!vividly;!and!the!
weave!of!explanatory!models!or!schemas!to!make!the!material!speak!through!its!
particularities!to!its!larger!significances.!!
!
!
2.1.!!Bazaars!as!Moral!and!Economic!Spaces!)(Erami,!Keshavarzian)!
!
!The!“bazaar”!as!a!sliding!signifier!for!both!the!architectural!spaces!of!covered!
bazaars!and!the!broader!market!—!including!little!neighborhood!bazaarches!and!
uptown!offices,!shops,!malls,!the!official!banking!system,!the!(%&&%G!credit!systems,!
the!black!markets!and!semi-legal!smuggling!routes!using!official!free!trade!zones!
and!exceptions!from!import!restrictions!!—continues!to!be!a!central!concern!for!
understanding!the!changing!political!economy!of!Iran!as!well!as!generators!of!social!
and!political!morality,!interests,!and!power!differentials.!!!!
!
!Two!new!dissertations!on!the!bazaar!promise!to!extend!the!discussions!of!
the!past!century,!one!on!the!Tehran!bazaar!by!a!political!scientist,!Arang!
!
21!
Keshavarzian,!using!quasi-ethnographic!methods!and!one!on!the!Qum!bazaar!by!an!
anthropologist,!Narges!Erami.!!The!contrast!between!the!two!illuminates!some!of!
the!stakes!in!attempting!to!move!between!on-the-ground!ethnography!and!more!
aggregate!analyses,!and!in!the!use!of!the!earlier!literature!on!which!to!build!a!robust!
analysis!of!the!present.!!Perhaps!because!these!are!first!projects!with!still!unsettled!
frameworks,!the!relation!between!past!studies!and!the!present!are!not!always!well!
drawn-out,!with!the!unfortunate!effect!that!the!new!contributions!are!less!well!
articulated!or!highlighted!than!they!might!be.!!Because!Keshavarzian’s!project!has!
now!progressed!from!dissertation!to!book!(i.e.!a!second!chance!at!reframing!and!
polishing),!it!may!not!be!unfair!use!his!work!as!something!of!a!type!case!of!this!
problematic!break!between!interpretive!communities!(pre!and!post-revolution).!!!
!
! Keshavarzian’s!book!makes!three!primary!contributions,!first!to!the!
discussion!of!the!transformation!of!bazaar!networks!away!from!close-knit!social!
ties,!second!to!beginning!a!charting!of!the!absorption!of!lower!level!bazaaris!into!the!
IRI!patronage!network,!and!thirdly!to!a!charting!of!the!transformation!of!the!value!
chains!in!three!sectors!(carpets;!tea;!glassware!and!china).!!!First!he!argues!that!the!
bazaar!has!been!dis-assembled!and!reorganized!into!the!patronage!structure!of!the!
IRI’s!rentier!structure,!accomplishing!what!Muhammad!Reza!Shah!tried!to!do,!or!
more!generously!what!was!only!beginning!to!happen!in!the!1970s:!!marginalize!the!
bazaar!with!department!stores,!new!wholesale!facilities,!stock!exchange,!and!
modern!banking!system.!!In!both!cases,!under!the!Shah!and!under!the!IRI,!the!state!
patronage!structure.!fueled!by!the!oil!revenues,!bred!and!breeds!corruption!and!
black!markets.!!Keshavarzian!argues!that!the!IRI,!has!succeeded!in!tearing!apart!the!
interpersonal!ties!of!the!bazaar!that!regulated!its!moral!worlds,!replacing!them!with!
unstable!networks!of!people!who!cannot!trust!one!another.!The!first!data!for!this!
argument!are!some!stunning!figures!on!bounced!checks,!and!the!claim!that!the!
largest!number!of!prisoners!in!Iran’s!jails,!after!those!in!for!drug!offenses,!are!for!
bounced!checks.!!The!hypothesis!he!pursues!from!this!is!a!shift!in!governance!and!
solidarity!in!the!bazaar!from!tight!social!networks!to!loser!impersonal!ones.!!
Amusingly!(or!perhaps!irritatingly)!Keshavarzian!makes!fun!of!references!in!earlier!
accounts!of!rough!categories!of!shifts!from!traditional!to!modern,!dismissing!
modernization!theory!as!merely!outdated,!but!his!own!hypothesis!is!the!very!
essence!of!such!shifts.,!including!his!very!language!(taken!from!Karl!Polanyi!of!
embedded!and!disembedded!market!relations),!and!his!account!of!the!growth!of!
unstable!and!semi-legal!networks!is!the!essence!of!modernization!theory’s!concern!
with!corruption,!transparency,!stability,!and!the!balance!between!political!and!
market!control!systems.!!(First!projects!often!show!a!tendency!to!dismiss!
precedessors!in!order!to!claim!credit!for!new!path!breaking!ideas!and!work;!but!
ironically!building!upon!prior!work!usually!provides!much!stronger!claims!of!both!
empirical!and!theoretical!contributions,!including!being!able!to!historicize!
conditions!and!contexts!more!clearly.)!!
!
The!most!important!part!of!Keshavarzian’s!second!argument!is!to!show!how!
an!Islamicist!organization!within!the!bazaar,!the![%:/MM%+<2!j#+%G282,<M2!;(8%:/!
(Islamic!Coalition!Organization)!served!as!a!conduit!of!personnel!who!became!
!
22!
recruited!into!the!new!IRI!power!structure,!and!how!over!time!this!group!came!to!
be!regarded!as!%,8</!'#$8%+!and!2'%&2,</!(government!and!bureaucratic)!rather!than!
defenders!of!the!interests!of!the!bazaar.!!A!few!important!names!are!supplied!and!
the!argument!made!that!the!ICA!came!from!the!lower!status!levels!in!the!bazaar!of!
brokers,!smaller!wholesalers,!and!the!produce!bazaar!!(Mohsen!Rezaii,!and!Mohsen!
Rafiqdust,!both!of!whom!are!former!Commanders-in-Chief!of!the!Revolutionary!
Guard,!and!the!latter!then!head!of!the!powerful!Foundation!of!the!Disinherited).!!
Keshavarzian!wants!to!argue!against!a!position!that!he!claims!suffuses!the!
literature,!that!there!was!a!unified!bazaar-clerical!block!of!political!interest!both!in!
the!revolution!and!in!post-revolutionary!politics.!!But!as!with,!the!claim!that!pre-
revolution!studies!of!the!bazaar!simply!classified!then!as!traditional,!this!is!a!
trivialization!of!the!long!standing!efforts!to!evaluate!the!divisions!within!the!bazaar!
(and!the!IRI!policy!leaders)!over!state!control!of!markets!versus!allowing!the!bazaar!
national!and!international!networks!to!operate!more!freely.!!Moreover!it!misstates!
the!nature!of!bazaar-clergy!relations!which!was!through!the!(%,:<;!;:%:!and!R%L%+!
tithing!or!voluntary!religious!taxes!paid!to!the!establishments!of!the!various!:%&%aF2!
+%i8/'!that!provided!the!clergy!an!independent!financial!base,!and!as!Maryam!
Ghadessi!rightly!puts!it!(in!her!1996!dissertation),!the!bazaars!and!the!clergy!each!
had!their!own!efficient!communication!systems!independent!of!the!state.!
!
! Ghadessi!provides!a!much!more!reliable!guide!to!the!literature!on!credit!
mechanisms!and!the!functions!of!the!bazaars!drawing!from!the!earlier!literature!and!
evaluating!recent!changes.!!Just!three!quick!examples.!!Gahdessi!acknowledges!the!
work!on!(%&&%G(!and!+Caa%&(!by!historians!and!anthropologists!(sarrafs!are!not!only!
money-lenders!but!the!top!level!of!the!credit!exchange!system!of!the!bazaar,!many!
of!whom!either!became!or!were!tujjars,!the!import-export!long-distance!and!
international!trading!merchants);!she!reviews!Howard!Rotblat’s!work!on!the!
changing!agricultural!credit!systems!centered!in!the!Qazvin!bazaar!as!one!of!several!
key!operations!of!that!bazaar,!its!communication!networks,!and!links!into!the!larger!
political!economy;!and!she!builds!upon!the!important!economic!work!on!bazaars!by!
Maxwell!Fry!who!wrote!about!bazaars!and!capital!markets!in!neighboring!
Afghanistan!after!previous!work!on!bazaars!in!Turkey.!!Ghadessi!also!has!a!serious!
discussion!of!Islamic!banking!systems!and!how!these!changed!over!time,!something!
to!which!Keshavarzian!adds!an!important!discussion!of!how!one!form!of!Islamic!
contracts!after!the!revolution!became!in!fact!so!usurious!(by!other!names)!that!they!
had!to!be!curtained!by!the!IRI.!!!!
!
! At!issue!here!are!two!kinds!of!ethnographic!writing!issues:!how!to!build!upon!
work!done!by!others,!and!how!to!negotiate!the!relation!between!on-the-ground!
ethnographic!investigations!and!the!analytic!significance!they!contribute!to!broader!
narratives!and!discussions.!!When!Keshavarzian!discusses!the!absorption!of!
unemployed!labor!into!the!Tehran!bazaar,!he!might!have!tied!this!into!Rotblat’s!
discussion!of!that!function!of!the!bazaar!in!Qazvin,!rather!than!just!saying!Rotblat!
had!done!some!empirical!work!albeit!in!a!modernization!framework.!!When!
Keshavarian!briefly!mentions!ethnicity!in!the!bazaars,!he!might!have!discussed!the!
role!of!the!great!Zoroastrian,!Armenian!and!Jewish!+%aa2&!families!and!what!
!
23!
happened!to!those!enterprises!over!time,!rather!than!only!mentioning!Jewish!retail!!
carpet!merchants!outside!the!bazaar!on!Manucher!street!below!Ferdowsi!Square.!!!
When!he!discusses!the!tea!trade,!larger!parts!of!the!economy!(agrarian!pricing!and!
import!relations)!begin!to!come!into!view,!and!it!would!be!good!had!the!discussion!
of!the!carpet!sector!done!this!as!well.!!Keshavarzian!seems!primarily!interested!in!
the!families!who!opened!warehouses!in!Hamburg!and!the!difficulties!they!
experience!as!the!IRI!continually!changes!the!terms!of!exchange!in!the!export!
business.!!Keshavarzian!claims!as!a!method!interviewing!and!hanging!out!
(somewhat!like!an!ethnographer),!but!the!results!are!presented!to!the!reader!
primarily!through!a!very!few!quotes,!requiring!the!reader!to!take!his!judgments!on!
faith,!rather!than!through!thick!ethnography!or!even!a!sociological!sense!of!how!
many!and!how!these!interviewees!are!distributed!across!the!bazaar.!!One!brief!
genealogy!is!given!noting!that!it!illustrates!family!members!in!several!parts!of!the!
bazaar,!and!in!a!later!chapter!there!is!an!equally!brief!recognition!(of!what!jumps!
out!as!obvious!on!first!viewing!of!the!genealogy!pages!earlier)!that!it!illustrates!
social!mobility!out!of!the!bazaar!into!university-educated!professions.!!How!much!
more!could!have!been!mapped!had!there!been!a!series!of!such!genealogies!in!
greater!depth!and!breadth!with!the!results!tabulated!in!statistical!tables,!of!
occupational,!educational,!mobility,!and!other!patterns.!!!
!
! Narges!Erami’s!work!on!the!Qum!bazaar!is!able!to!present!some!of!the!rich!
ethnographic!texture!missing!in!Keshavarzian’s!account.!She!provides!a!series!of!
ethnographic!vignettes:!!a!case!of!bazaar!elders!dealing!with!a!heroin!addict,!his!
family’s!shame,!and!the!ability!of!a!bazaar!leader!to!turn!to!a!local!Narcotics!
Anonymous!program!to!help!them;!another!vignette!deals!with!a!“wrong”!marriage!!
that!illuminates!status!negotiations,!and!the!ways!bazaaris!handle!interpersonal!
issues!as!well!as!disciplining!of!members!of!the!bazaar;!and!a!vignette!of!a!leading!
carpet!designer,!frustrated!his!attempts!to!set!up!training!centers!for!designers!that!
instill!knowledge!of!traditional!designs!as!well!as!innovative!new!ones,!and!his!
return!to!producing!on!commission!for!wealthy!Iranians!abroad.!!Like!
Keshavvarzian,!she!pays!attention!to!the!changing!nature!of!the!carpet!production!
and!marketing!system,!partly!under!the!auspices!of!the!state!organized!Iranian!
Carpet!Company,!then!under!the!Jihad-e!Sazandegi!(the!Reconstruction!Crusade),!
and!now!also!through!merchant!associations!doing!trade!shows!in!places!like!Tokyo.!
Indeed!her!account!of!the!state!Iran!Carpet!Company!reads!quite!differently,!with!
much!greater!sense!of!the!production!side!of!shifts!and!changes!over!the!last!30!
years,!from!Keshavarzian’s!more!macro-scale!account!of!the!multiple!government!
agencies!that!have!tried!to!control!a!piece!of!the!trade,!and!Hamburg!focused!
account!of!the!export!trade.!!!
!!!
Studies!of!bazaars!have!been!of!perennial!interest!in!a!wide!variety!of!fields!
from!institutional!or!historical!economics!made!central!by!Karl!Polanyi,!Karl!
Pearson,!and!Conrad!Arensberg!and!associates!(including!the!moral,!fair!price!and!
just!exchange!rules!of!oeconome!versus!commercial!relations!in!Greece,!the!moral!
managers!of!bazaars!in!North!Africa,!legal!rules!of!equivalence!and!fair!price),!the!
long-distance!trade!relations!elucidated!by!both!archeologists!and!analysts!of!the!
!
24!
transformations!by!the!East!India!companies!which!internalized!the!segmented!
risks!and!controlled!value!chains!from!production!to!market!from!Kirman!to!
Amsterdam!or!London;!and!to!some!extent!the!analysis!of!the!rent!structures!that!
supported!the!building!of!the!large!urban!covered!bazaars!as!well!as!endowments!
and!shrines.!!In!the!1960s!and!1970s!location!theory!further!modeled!rent!
structures!to!explain!the!clustering!of!goods!together!in!bazaars,!and!studies!began!
to!be!made!of!the!efficiency!of!capital!markets!in!the!bazaar!(-,2M(%&/M2,s!where!
money!exchangers!operated;!the!long!distance!exchange!of!checks,!promissory!
notes,!and!other!instruments!of!exchange!–!always!easier!to!get!a!foreign!check!
cashed!in!the!bazaar!than!in!a!bank!(as!again!became!visible!in!the!moral!panics!
over!these!banking!networks!in!the!post!9/11!period).!
!
! In!Iran!(and!neighboring!Afghanistan)!a!number!of!important!ethnographic!
studies!of!the!bazaar!were!initiated,!ranging!from!Gus!Thaiss’!work!on!religious!
hayats!in!the!Tehran!bazaar,!to!Howard!Rotblat’s!studies!of!the!ways!in!which!the!
Qazvin!bazaar!acted!as!a!shock!absorber!for!the!large-scale!Qazvin!agricultural!
development!project!by!absorbing!labor!from!villages,!to!Robert!Dillan’s!studies!of!
the!putting!out!system!of!carpet!production!in!Kirman!(and!Bill!Beeman’s!studies!of!
the!system!in!Kashan),!and!my!own!surveys!and!studies!of!zurkhanehs,!bazaar!
“secret”!languages,!guilds,!&#$R2,<L,%)2,(,!and!pricing!mechanisms!in!the!Yazd!
bazaar!(and!19th!century!price!fluctuations!that!caused!peasant!flight!to!India!during!
famines),!Michael!Bonine’s!geographic!mappings!of!the!Yazd!bazaar!and!its!
productive!and!distribution!hinterland,!and!my!brief!forays!into!the!Qum,!Hamadan,!
and!other!bazaars.!!Of!these,!the!most!detailed!was!Rotblats!unpacking!of!the!
various!jobs!and!hierarchies!(wholesalers,!jobbers,!hawkers,!etc.),!the!ways!in!which!
pricing!operated!especially!in!the!produce!markets,!and!the!relations!between!
wholesalers!and!retailers,!'#L%)!(shop)!owners!and!hawkers,!central!bazaars!and!
neighborhood!ones.!!There!were!also!the!relations!involved!in!the!craft!portions!of!
the!bazaar!between!apprentices!and!masters,!or!just!assistants!((,#-,2&'s)!and!
more!independent!actors.!!Bargaining!as!one,!but!only!one!mechanism,!of!price!
setting,!particularly!in!markets!where!prices!are!flexible!(carpets,!antiques)!are!
different!from!produce!markets,!where!in!the!early!morning!shop!keepers!would!
engage!in!price!checking!among!sellers!until!the!day’s!prices!fell!into!place,!until!late!
evening!when!perishable!goods!could!be!sold!off!at!discount.!
!
!Key!interconnections!between!the!bazaar!and!other!parts!of!the!shifting!and!
changing!political!economy!have!also!been!of!perennial!interest,!particularly!the!
relationship!between!merchant!money!and!the!building!or!repair!of!qanats!
(underground!irrigation!channels),!the!relationship!between!import-export!firms!
important!from!the!late!19th!century!into!the!mid-twentieth!century!and!some!of!
those!merchant!families!becoming!owners!of!textile!mills!and!other!industrial!
enterprises!(which!Keshavarzian!mentions!in!passing,!but!does!no!real!studies!of!
any!of!these!families),!and!the!relationship!between!the!tithing!of!the!bazaar!
through!the!(%,:<2!;:%:!and!R%L%+!to!the!:%&%a2,!+%i8/',!providing!the!clerics!with!
an!independent!financial!base!(something!of!crucial!importance!in!my!study!of!
Qum).!!!
!
25!
!
!So!it!is!with!great!interest,!that!there!are!now!beginning!to!be!a!few!new!
studies,!and!anticipation!that!with!time,!insiders!will!also!begin!to!publish!at!least!
historical!reflections!on!efforts!under!the!IRI!to!establish!industrial!parks,!and!
integrate!new!business!management!and!entrepreneurial!models.!!One!thinks!of!the!
case!studies!developed!at!the!business!school!in!Tehran!before!the!revolution,!
housed!in!a!modern!caravanserai-style!set!of!buildings!designed!by!the!architect,!
Nader!Ardalan,!now!housing!the!Imam!Jafar!Sadeq!University;!and!the!case!studies!
that!the!Sharif!University!School!of!Management!is!more!recently!developing.!!!And!
of!course,!in!the!future!one!will!be!interested!in!eliciting!accounts!of!the!holding!
companies,!state!enterprises,!and!foundations!(7#)M%'s)!increasingly!said!to!be!
controlled!by!the!Republican!Guard!(g%(%'%&%)).!!!
!
3.0.!Don’t!Give!them!Information3!
!!!
My!experience!reading!current!dissertations!by!Iranians!and!Iranian-
Americans!on!Iran!and!the!Iranian!diaspora!reminds!me!a!little!of!the!Maz!Jobrani!
YouTibe!video!spoof!on!Iranian-Americans!responses!to!the!2010!U.S.!census.!!A!
Persian!speaking!young!female!census!taker!comes!to!the!door!of!people!who!have!
not!filled!out!their!forms!and!attempts!to!fill!out!the!forms!orally.!!She!suggests!that!
for!“race,”!they!tell!her!to!put!down!“other”!and!write!in!“Iranian-American,”!so!that!
the!community!can!get!minority!status!and!federal!funding.!!The!response!is!warm!
and!polite,!but!to!each!question!(how!many!live!in!your!house,!what!is!your!income!
range)!the!answer!is!“zero”,!and!for!race!they!all!reply!“Italian”,!so!that!there!is!a!
news!flash!that!there!has!been!a!250%!increase!in!Italians.!
!
A!darker,!still!comic,!version!is!the!hilarious!short!story!by!Isfahan-born,!
Paris!resident,!Ali!Erfan,!called!“Anonymous”!about!the!impossibility!of!someone!
(with!a!chequered!background)!narrating!a!coherent!story!about!himself!that!will!
satisfy!a!consulate!official!in!order!to!issue!a!visa!to!the!U.S.!or!elsewhere.4!!In!this!
case,!he!attempts!to!engage!a!reluctant!professional!writer!to!concoct!a!tale!that!will!
fit!the!need.!!As!he!explains!himself!in!an!effort!to!give!the!writer!something!to!work!
with,!he!is!simultaneously!effusive!and!totally!evasive.!The!text!operates!as!an!
enactment!of!what!it!describes.!
!
!So!too!the!dissertations!(not!all)!are!often!frustratingly!devoid!of!
ethnographic!thickness,!comparative!awareness,!or!extant!literature!by!other!
Iranians,!not!to!mention!non-Iranians.!!We!get!accounts!of!temporary!marriage!
without!mention!of!Shahla!Haeri’s!work!on!the!subject,!on!women’s!rituals!without!
reference!to!Betteridge,!Safa-Isfahani!(or!Fischer!1973)’s!work!on!women’s!
a28%((2,’s,!wedding!rites,!(#G&2,s;!of!'#$&2,’s!without!acknowledgment!of!James!
Bill’s!account!in!the!political!science!canon,!of!socio-linguistics!without!
acknowledgment!of!William!Beeman’s!work!on!the!topic,!on!cinema!without!
attention!to!Hamid!Naficy’s!or!Saeed!Zeydabadinejad’s!work,!on!Jewish-Iranian!
immigrants!to!Los!Angeles!without!mention!of!Arlene!Dallalfar’s!work,!on!sufism!or!
!
26!
gnostic!interpretations!without!reference!to!Husain!Zia’i!work!on!Suhravardi!or!
Rafique!Keshavjee’s!work!on!everyday!Ismaili!gnosticism!in!Iran,!on!bazaars!
without!or!only!perfunctory!reference!to!Centlivres,!Dillon,!Fischer,!Fry,!!Rotblat,!
Thaiss!and!others,!and!so!on.!
!
!Why!do!dissertations!withhold!information!—!how!can!one!record!two!hour!
conversations!with!120!women!in!three!generations!and!not!report!anything!they!
say!about!their!lives!except!whether!or!not!they!practice!certain!rituals?!!!
!
One!answer!is!perhaps!shifting!goals!of!doing!ethnography.!!The!style!of!
many!dissertations!strays!into!(often!wounded)!narcissicism!and!essayism,!neither!
of!which!are!inherently!bad,!but!can!constrain!their!ethnographic!versatility!if!not!
well!tuned.!!Narcissism!and!essayism!in!their!more!elevated!modes!are!efforts!to!
situate!the!perspective!of!the!author:!no!one!is!omniscient,!and!the!reader!is!better!
served!by!knowing!the!limits!of!the!author’s!access.!!
!
!In!the!essay!genre,!authorial!situatedness!is!often!cause,!traditionally,!for!
self-reflective!gentle!irony!about!the!partiality!of!even!the!most!in!depth!of!
ethnographic!efforts!(as!in!Geertz’s!3G+2&!+,2!9%0+!or!3D%/8%782!I/-,+).!!!Narcissism!at!
its!most!poetic!—!the!looking!into!the!mirror!that!peers!back!at!the!self!—!can!
provide!a!kind!of!inquiry!into!the!cultural!forms!that!have,!in!deepening!
reverberations!or!ripples!of!historical!layering,!shaped!the!self.!In!one!beautifully!
done!example!of!dealing!with!the!wounds!of!humiliation!and!shame!of!contending!
with!coming!out!as!a!gay!Iranian!man,!Moinzadeh!(described!above)!uses!his!own!
subjectivity!in!dialogue!with!the!tradition!of!reinterpretation!of!Suhravardi,!Corbin,!
Jung,!and!Heidegger,!and!the!circle!around!Allameh!Tabataba’i.!!Although!he!does!
not!mention!the!latter,!his!deft!handling!%88#$(!+,2!&2%'2&!+#!8/)L!C.!his!
interpretative!work!with!the!broader!histories!of!psychiatric!and!psychological!
discourses!in!Iran,!as!well!as!with!the!larger!political!sociology!of!Iran!since!the!
1960s!in!the!current!work!of!Behrouzan!on!psychiatry!and!my!earlier!work!on!the!
several!contesting!discourses!that!engaged!with!the!,#R2,!28:/M2!or!seminaries!in!
Qum.!!!!!
!
But!the!essayism!of!some!(often!incredibly!short)!recent!dissertations!
reflects!rather!a!sense!that!only!serendipity!rather!than!sustained!fieldwork!or!
scholarship!(incorporating!serendipity)!is!in!charge.!!Often,!the!genre!form!takes!on!
a!&#$R2,!(lamentation)!form!of!emotion,!in!which!(implausibly)!the!audience!is!
assumed!to!know!nothing!of!Iranian!culture!or!history,!resulting!in!repetitions!over!
and!over!of!the!simplest!information!and!claims,!for!instance!that!one!cannot!know!
Iranian!culture!without!knowing!its!poetry!as!if!that!were!any!different!from!
German!culture!(Goethe,!Rilke,!Schilling,!Holderlin,!Celan)!or!any!other!culture;!and!
without!engaging!in!any!of!the!detailed!hermeneutic!investigations!that!one!might!
expect!from!such!a!position!to!inform!the!reader!and!the!self.!!Moreover,!as!
Hakkam’s!essay!on!the!secular!intelligentsia’s!poetry!after!the!revolution!seems!to!
argue,!poetry!often!acts!as!blinders!and!blockages!by!substituting!nice!sounding!and!
!
27!
dramatic!polarities!of!good!and!evil,!instead!of!the!more!mixed!evaluations!of!
attention!to!political!process.!
!
! Ethnography!is!different!from!essayism!and!narcissism!for!characteristics!
that!include!attention!to!the!archive,!to!the!comparative!and!cross-cultural,!and!to!
the!circuits!of!cosmo-politics.!!These!characteristics!are!those!of!positive!knowledge,!
but!they!need!not!be!limited!to!tabular!or!encyclopedic!formats.!!3&0,/D2!G2D2&!may!
be!!as!the!dissertation!by!Proshot!Kalami!notes!citing!Jacques!Derrida!—!fantasies!
and!distorted!returns!of!the!repressed.!!Kalami!attempts!a!psychoanalytically!
inflected!reading!of!(arbitrarily?)!selected!films!in!order!to!express!her!
interpretation!of!Iran’s!many!traumas.!!But!in!skillful!ethnographic!hands,!such!as!
Saeed!Zeydabadinejafi’s!(or!soon!Ramiyar!Rassoukh’s),!or!comprehensive!archival!
surveys!and!historical!contextual!analyses!(such!as!Hamid!Naficy’s),!we!also!have!
access!to!the!actual!negotiations!between!government!censors!and!auteurs,!and!to!
the!on-location!collaborative!work!that!goes!into!the!production!of!films.!!In!similar!
fashion!to!Kalami,!Sholeh!Shahrokhi’s!often!sensitive!narratives!of!runaways!excise!
the!parks!they!frequent!from!the!contexts!of!what!we!otherwise!know!of!the!parks.!!
Laleh!Park!is!bounded!by!major!cultural!institutions,!an!international!hotel,!and!has!
become!a!site!of!civil!rights!demonstrations,!none!of!which!are!evident!in!either!
Shahrokhis’!account!of!the!park!when!she!was!a!child!(fountains,!paths!for!strolling)!
or!her!fieldwork!site!of!the!“lady’s!room”!where!the!middle!aged!caretaker!Meira!
Khanom!also!serves!as!a!den!mother!to!the!runaways.!!Shahrokhi’s!brilliant!insight!
that!by!following!the!runaways!through!Tehran’s!parks!and!streets!one!can!also!
unpack!the!urban!history!of!the!city!is!largely!unrealized,!and!awaits!her!further!
intellectual!labor.!!That!insight!is!of!course!also!a!well!worked!cinematic!trope,!one!
that!was!deployed!by!Mohsen!Makhmalbaf!in!the!tryptich!of!",2!g2''82&!(1987)!and!
in!j%&&/%-2!#G!+,2!\82((2'!(3&C(/!k,C7%),!1989),!as!well!as!by!many!others!(e.g.,!
Bani-Etemad’s!5%&-2(V!1992;!and,!as!already!noted,!Panahi!and!Kiarostami’s!
Crimson!and!Gold!("%8%<M/!6#&L,,!2003).!!!!
!
One!should!think!through!the!degree!to!which!the!current!generation!of!
ethnographic!writing!is!always!already!influenced!by!a!camera!eye!and!the!tracking!
of!the!cinematic!gaze.!!And!it!is!both!disheartening!and!amusing!to!see!the!defensive!
dismissiveness!with!which!Shahrokhi!treats!the!cinematic!in!a!brief!final!chapter.!!In!
",2!g2''82&,!Makhmalbaf!follows!first!an!impoverished!family!in!south!Tehran!as!
they!attempt!to!abandon!their!newborn!to!someone!who!can!better!care!for!it,!in!the!
process!taking!us!to!a!hellish!orphanage,!the!great!bazaar!mosque!with!its!moral!
codes,!and!a!gated!upscale!villa.!!The!second!segment!plays!out!in!the!street!around!
the!bazaar!with!a!timid!fellow!frozen!by!his!family!romance!(caring!for!a!mother!
who!might!be!dead!in!her!rocking!chair)!and!inability!to!deal!with!the!raucous!city!
(as!in!the!hilarious!effort!to!cross!the!street!at!the!northern!edge!of!the!bazaar).!!The!
third!segment!takes!us!to!the!underground!of!Afghan!immigrants!and!others!in!their!
coffee!houses!and!semi-legal!bazaars.!!Makhmalbaf’s!j%&&/%-2!#G!+,2!\82((2',!among!
other!things,!takes!us!on!a!photographer’s!motorbike!around!Tehran!photographing!
in!iconic!spaces!the!deterioration!of!the!promise!of!the!city!and!the!revolution.!!!
Many!other!films!do!similar!work.!!B&/:(#)!4#8'!("%8%<M/!6#&L,!by!Jafar!Panahi!and!
!
28!
Abbas!Kiarostami,!2003)!takes!us!from!the!one!room!apartment!of!an!ill!veteran!of!
the!Iran-Iraq!war!making!ends!meet!as!a!pizza!delivery!man!to!a!jewelry!store!not!
far!from!Laleh!Park!to!a!fancy!high!rise.!!Shahrokhi!commends!Kiarostami’s!"2)!
(2002)!but!then!fails!to!follow!through.!!She!says!each!turn!in!the!film!takes!us!to!a!
different!urban!space,!but!doesn’t!bother!even!to!name!these!or!make!anything!of!
them.!
!
! What!is!really!good!about!Shahrokhi’s!dissertation!is!its!treatment!of!the!
society!as!other!than!a!political!soap!opera.!!The!difficulties!of!doing!research!on!a!
potentially!very!politically!sensitive!topic!are!mentioned!in!passing!but!not!dwelt!
upon.!!Instead!large!numbers!of!public,!policing,!university,!NGO,!and!other!
institutions!are!thanked!for!help!in!the!acknowledgments.!!The!thinness!of!the!
dissertation!may!be!a!silent!counter!to!this!faux!normalcy,!a!function!of!the!
difficulties!of!doing!the!research.!!Shahrokhi!nicely!treats!runaways!as!a!figure!of!
desire!instead!of!just!a!social!problem.!In!one!of!her!best!lines,!she!notes!“that!for!
runaways!being!urban!does!not!transform!them!into!a!modern!subject,!and!living!on!
the!street!does!not!automatically!translate!to!being!politically!rebellious”(p.!4).!!!
This!might!be!a!counter!to!those!accounts!which!attempt!to!read!partying!as!
political!(Mahdavi!2009),!but!Sharokhi!does!not!directly!engage!Mahdavi!or!the!
“lipstick!jihad”!genre.!!
!
Engagement!might!mean!helping!to!situate!those!accounts,!accounting!for!
them,!rather!than!ignoring!or!dismissing!them.)!!!
!
There!is!a!wonderful!cultural!critique!moment!when!Shahrokhi!writes,!!
!
! ! []!the!very!act!of!escape!has!conjured!up!much!anxiety!and!!
discomfort!among!social!elites!and!moral!authorities.!!In!this!vein,!!
perhaps!ethnography!could!be!the!most!suitable!medium!for!bringing!
multiple!debates!and!arguments!about!the!runaways!face-to-face,!so!!
to!speak.!!!(ibid.,!p.!4)!
!
It!is!odd!that!in!her!listing!of!documentaries!that!have!dealt!with!runaways,!she!
doesn’t!mention!Bahman!Moshar’s!!“My!name!is!Rocky,”!(2001),!odd!because!the!
Rocky!is!presumably!the!“Rocky”!who!is!one!her!main!informants!in!the!Laleh!Park!
“ladies!room”.!!!!!
!
4.0.!!Larger!Implications!!!
!
!Who!are!we!writing!ethnographies!for?!!I!think!it!not!too!idealistic!to!ask!for!
a!vibrant!account!of!the!diversity!of!social!lives!of!Iranians!in!the!twentieth!century!
that!can!serve!as!platforms!for!reflection!on!their!variety,!their!contributions,!their!
aesthetic!genres!and!the!ebbs!and!flows!of!their!embodied!strivings.!!In!the!
hyperpoliticized!worlds!of!governance,!economy,!and!sequestered!information,!
ethnographers!can!help!produce!the!public!record!that!governments,!businesses!
and!other!organizations!hide,!or!shape!as!tools!to!further!their!interests.!!!This!need!
!
29!
not!be!antagonistic!to!governments,!but!on!the!contrary!a!recognizing,!giving!
attention!to!the!fact,!that!they!too!are!actors!operating!under!their!own!constraints,!
rules!of!play,!perspectives,!and!ideological!formations.!!Exploring!the!stakes!for!the!
parties!involved!is!one!of!the!things!ethnography!is!good!at,!and!everyone!gains!by!
learning!to!understand!those!stakes.!!!Journalists,!playwrights,!film-makers,!
installation!artists,!and!now!sometimes!bloggers!(as!Behrouzan!describes),!often!do!
similar!work,!and!it!is!instructive!that!before!they!write!practitioners!of!these!other!
ways!of!working!do!research!analogous!to!that!of!ethnography,!or!even!real!
ethnography!albeit!often!in!shorter!time!frames,!and!often!with!other!questions!in!
mind!(how!to!create!dramatic!tension,!for!instance,!using!both!ethnographic!and!
fictive!inputs)!but!often!also!with!the!same!questions!in!mind!(how!do!runaway!
lives!work).!!In!terms!of!theory,!ethnography!implicitly,!if!not!explicitly!shows!that!
“one!cannot!change!only!one!thing”,!that!things!have!interconnections,!and!these!
need!to!be!teased!out!to!be!understood.!!The!more!obvious!can!be!institutionally!
managed!(planners,!policy!makers,!are!supposed!to!be!able!to!put!incentives!in!
place),!but!the!subtler!and!unexpected!connections!always!generate!surprises,!the!
liveliness!of!social!living.!!!
!
! Iran’s!experiences!are!particular!but!not!unique.!!!Iran!can!model!processes!
at!work!elsewhere,!and!do!so!with!the!difference!that!gives!juxtaposition!with!
comparative!work!its!power,!or!inversely!work!elsewhere!can!illuminate!Iran.!!
Other!places!have!authoritarian!mixed!modes!of!governance,!other!places!sequester!
information,!other!places!have!poetry!and!aesthetic!genres,!other!places!have!social!
and!cultural!conflicts.!!!
!
!But!perhaps!above!all,!ethnography!provides!tools!to!have!conversations!
across!disciplines!and!generations.!!And!in!less!abstract!and!more!immediate!terms,!
this!rough!survey!essay!is!intended!to!help!build!a!benchmarked!horizon!of!works!to!
think!with!and!to!build!upon,!to!create!a!conversation!between!work!done!before!
and!work!underway,!to!provide!tools!and!stepping!stones!for!new!ethnographic!
works,!and!to!encourage!new!inventive!ethnographies!attuned!to!the!ways!the!
world!is!changing!(not!always!in!directions!we!like)!to!allow!us!to!encourage!one!
another,!to!build!a!useable!archive!with!which!to!feel!our!way!ahead.!!!
!
!
5.0.!!Appendix!
!
Towards an Archive of Ethnography for
Iran & its Diaspora
Michael!M.J.!Fischer!
Notes:!!1.!This!listing!registers!dissertations!as!the!first!full!ethnographic!endeavors!of!the!authors.!!!
I!have!separated,!and!listed!first,!urban!and!diasporic!studies,!separate!from!nomadic!ones,!partly!as!
a!legacy!categorization!of!the!pre-1930s!political!economy,!but!primarily!to!counter!the!privileging!of!
nomadic!studies!as!a!way!of!delegitimizing!ethnographic!contributions!to!the!study!of!post-1930s!
and!contemporary!Iran!and!its!diasporas,!thereby!also!oxmoronically!essentializing!ethnography!as!
!
30!
the!study!of!the!pre-modern.!!(It!is!oxymoron!because!ethnography!is!done!in!the!present!even!when,!
as!the!best!ethnography!does,!the!historical!archive!is!interrogated!and!included;!and!because!all!
ethnography!is!dated,!conducted!in!a!historical!horizon!or!context).!!
!
2.!!The!topic!tags!(in!/+%8/0(V!right!column)!are!meant!just!to!quickly!index!the!variety!and!recurrence!
of!focal!topics.!!They!are!not!intended!to!encapsulate!what!are!multi-faceted!works!that!can!be!mined!
in!a!number!of!ways!and!for!many!things.!!(Re)&2%'/)-!G#&!+,2!2+,)#-&%.,M!is!always!an!interpretive!
and!re-contextualizing!activity.!
!
3.!The!1979!revolution!created!a!hiatus!and!break!in!the!cumulative!weaving!of!a!multi-faceted!!
ethnographic!archive!that!worked!not!by!simple!aggregation!but!by!commentary,!interrogation,!
critique,!and!re-study!of!a!living,!growing,!multi-faceted!corpus!of!methodological,!conceptual,!and!
comparative-contextual!sophistication.!!There!is!also!a!break!in!communication!between!thesis!done!
in!universities!in!Iran!and!work!outside!Iran;!while!anthropological!fieldwork!seems!to!have!been!
largely!inhibited!even!by!Iranians,!there!is!on-going!work!much!of!it!accessible!only!by!going!to!the!
universities!where!theses!might!be!archived.!(For!an!example,!see!the!acknowledgement!by!Arang!
Keshavarzian![2007]!of!having!consulted!such!theses!and!their!uneven!distribution!among!
universities;!and!note!that!he!chooses!not!to!cite!them!by!name,!again!reinforcing!the!divide.)!!There!
is!also!a!certain!barrier!less!of!language!than!of!goals!between!French!and!Anglo-American!fieldwork!
traditions,!reflected!in!very!uneven!commentary!and!citational!recognition!in!both!directions.!!
!
4.!From!the!listing,!one!sees,!by!topics!of!concern,!not!a!binary!break!with!the!revolution!with!a!shift!
recently!towards!the!diaspora!and!obsessions!with!questions!of!identity,!but!rather!roughly!a!three!
generation!structure:!pre-1979,!1980s-90s,!and!post-1990s.!!In!the!pre-1979!period!the!focus!is!Iran.!!
In!the!1980s-1990s!period!the!intellectual!legacy!of!the!earlier!period!continues!plus!there!is!a!shift!
of!interest!to!the!diaspora!partly!as!a!function!of!access,!partly!as!a!function!of!a!new!growing!
demographic!and!cultural!object,!and!partly!as!a!function!of!new!cultural!forms.!!In!the!most!recent!
period!there!is!both!a!new!look!at!post-revolutionary!Iran!and!a!shift!to!identity!issues!inflected!by!
American-born!or!-raised!Iranian-American!young!people.!!The!best!of!the!latter!and!of!writing!about!
the!most!recent!immigrants,!often!written!by!Iranian-born!ethnographers!exploring!the!diaspora,!
begin!to!chart!the!complex!formation!of!new!cultural!forms!incorporating!but!not!subservient!to!
older!legacies!(Alexanian,!N.!Naficy,!Rohani).!In!Iran,!old!topics!are!given!new!ethnographic!access!
(Zeydabadi-Nejad,!Rassoukh,!Sorabi!on!film;!Keshavarzian,!Erami!on!bazaars),!and!new!cultural!
forms!are!charted!(Khosravi!on!the!criminalization!of!youth!culture,!Behrouzan!on!the!rise!of!
psychiatric!selves,!Osanloo!on!gender!negotiations!through!court!proceedings,!and!more!tentatively!
Zahir!on!underground!music),!!
!
5.!!Not!all!contributors!to!the!ethnographic!archive!are!anthropologists.!!I’ve!marked!non-
anthropologists!by!field!of!training!((linguistics,!historian,!comparative!literature,!psychology,!
political!science!or!government![G]).!Re.!literature,!I!have!included!some!textual!accounts!to!mark!
work!on!important!cultural!forms!(Mottahedeh,!Kalami!on!film),!it!would!be!good!to!have!more!
ethnographic-contextual!work!on!the!dowrehs!surrounding!literary!production!and!circulation,!as!
has!begun!for!film!production!by!Zeydabadi-Nejad,!Rassoukh,!and!H.!Nafici,!for!war!doucumentaries!
by!Sorabi!and!Varzi,!and!for!the!art!world!by!Lotfalian.!!!!Ethnomusicology!is!often!ethnographic!!
(Farr,!Page,!Reckord;!with!E.!Zonis,!and!Bruno!Nettl!more!focused!on!the!music!alone).!!!Political!
science!is!an!adjacent!sometimes!ethnographic!field!(Jim!Bill,!Marvin!Zonis,!and!Sharough!Akhavi!did!
ethnographic!work!on!dowrehs,!elite!communication!networks,!and!madrassas,!resp.;!R.!Cottam,!L.!
Binder!supported!!and!integrated!ethnographic!work,!and!more!recently!Dan!Brumberg!and!Charles!
Kurzman!have!added!commentaries!on!the!political!master!narratives;!and!Keshavarzian!has!done!
ethnographic!work!in!the!Tehran!bazaar).!!Historians!(Ansari,!Bulliet,!Garthwaite,!Keddie,!Lambton)!
and!archeologists!(Lamberg-Karlovsky,!Stronach,!Sumner,!Wright,!et!al.)!were!also!important!parts!of!
the!intellectual!weave!and!continue!to!be!so!in!women’s!studies!(Najmabadi),!historical!sociology!
(Amir!Arjovand),!medical!history!(Shayegh),!etc.!!
!
!
31!
6.!!It!is!of!interest!for!the!ethnography!of!ethnography!to!note!the!clusters!of!universities!where!work!
was!and!is!produced.!!Chicago,!for!instance,!produced!a!cohort!of!ethnographers!in!the!1970s!all!of!
whom!read!one!another’s!work,!enriching!their!own.!!Michigan,!similarly,!produced!a!small!but!
important!cohort!of!linguists!who!interacted!with!the!ethnographers!in!Iran,!of!whom!I’ve!only!listed!
Don!Stilo!(Jerry!Clinton,!Ed!Davis,!and!their!teachers!Kenneth!Luther!and!Gernot!Windfuhr!are!
others).!!Other!linguisits!(Dick!Frye,!Annemarie!Schimmel,!Paul!Sprachman,!Thackston!Wheeler)!
worked!on!earlier!periods!but!were!important!teachers!and!interlocutors.!!Harvard!produced!several!
important!folklorists!of!whom!I’ve!listed!Margaret!Mills!as!one!whose!work!is!fully!ethnographic!
(another!is!Mahasti!Afshar!whose!wonderful!work!is!textual,!historical,!and!quasi-structuralist!in!the!
anthropological!sense).!!Harvard!has!also!produced!a!series!of!anthropology!trained!ethnographers!
both!of!Iran!and!the!wider!cultural!region!(Barfield,!Craig’s!BA!thesis,!M.!Good,!Mills,!Keshavjee,!
MacIntire-Giafortoni),!Pliskin,!Safizadeh,!Haeri’s!MA!thesis,!and!three!in!process!Rassoukh,!Doostdar,!
Behi).!!Both!Harvard!and!Chicago!have!important!Middle!East!Centers!with!historians!and!others!
who!helped!train!ethnographers.!!!!Smaller!sets!of!ethnographers!have!come!from!programs!at!
Columbia!(Dillon,!Goodall;!Varzi,!Mahdavi,!Eram),!UCLA!(Dallalfar,!Haeri,![Bozorgmehr]),!and!SOAS!
(Black,!R.!Tappper,!N.!Tapper,!Zeydabadi-Nejad).!!!(Someone!in!Iran!would!have!to!do!a!similar!
mapping!for!studies!there,!not!just!in!anthropology!programs,!but!also!by!topic;!for!a!start!see!Fazeli!
2005;!and!Fazeli,!Fakouhi,!and!Shahshahani!in!Najmabadi!2009.)!!It!might!also!be!interesting!to!start!
tracking!lineages/approaches:!who!was!a!student!of!whom.!!!
!
7.!!The!separate!category!for!ethnography!of,!and!using,!the!visual!media!is!very!incomplete,!but!
marks!a!space!and!set!of!approaches!that!need!cultivation,!both!in!helping!to!constitute!the!public!
sphere!with!alternatives!to!the!images!of!the!news!media,!and!also!in!raising!the!ethnographic!
standards!of!descriptive!quality!in!written!ethnographies.!!Indeed!much!of!what!Bromberger!says!are!
topics!not!attended!to,!have!been!attended!to!in!this!medium!if!not!in!fuller!ethnographies.!The!study!
of,!and!use!of,!the!Internet!circuitry!of!Iranian!culture!also!has!only!just!begun.!!!!
!
ethnographers of urban Iran & associated villages 1970s
!
Abedi,!Mehdi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1972-75!!!!Yazd,!Qum!!!!!Shi’ites!in!Yazd,!in!Qum!
!(Akhavi,!Sharokh)!!![G]!1980!Tehran!!!!!!!!!!Clergy-State!relations! ! !!!!!!:%'&%((%(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alberts,!Robert!C.!1963! ! !!!!!!!!!Social!Structure!and!Culture!Change!!
!!in!an!Iranian!Village.!!PhD,!Wisc.
Ardehali,!P.E.!!! ! 1987! ! !!!!!!!!!Arranging!Marriages!in!Iran.!!PhD.!NJ!
Bateson,!MC!et!al.!1971!!!!!Tehran!!!!!!!!!!Safa-yi!Batin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:#&%8!l!.(M0,!+&#.2(!
Beeman,!William!O.!1976!Tehran,!!!!!!!!!!!Stylistic!Variation!in!the!Language!of!Iranian!
!!!!Kashan! ! !!Interaction!&!its!Socio-Cultural!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(#0/#8/)-!
!!!!!!!!Meaning.!!PhD,!Chicago !
Betteridge,!Anne!! 1975?!!!!Shiraz!!!!!!!!!!Ziarat!to!the!Shrines!of!Shiraz.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!$#:2)!
!!!PhD,!Chicago (,&/)2(!
(Bill,!James)!!!!!!![G]!1972!Tehran!!!!!!!!!!The!Politics!of!Iran:!Groups,!Classes!! !!!!!!!!!!!!'#$&2,(!
!!!!&!Modernization.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bonine,!Michael!!!!![Geog]!197?!!!!Yazd!!!!!!!!!!!Yazd!and!its!Hinterland!!PhD,!Texas !!!!!!!!8#0!+,2#&M!
Craig,!Daniel! ! 1974! ! !!!!!!!!!A!Return!to!Tradition:!Conflict!!!!!!!!!!!!!,#C(2!#G!aC(+/02!
!!!!Management!in!Emadabad!
!!!!!!!!!!since!the!White!Revolution,!!
!!!!1970-73.!!BA!Harvard !
Cronin,!Constance!1970s!Tehran!!!!!!!!!!Genealogies!of!the!Iranian!Elites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!28/+2(!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(unfinished)!
Dillon,!Robert! ! 1976!Kerman!!!!!!!!!!Carpet!Capitalism!and!Craft!Involution!!!
!!!!in!Kerman,!Iran.!!PhD,!Columbia 0%&.2'+!20!
English,!Paul!![Geog]!1965!Kerman!!!!!!!!!!Resettlement!and!Economy!in!the!Kerman!
!!!!!!Basin.!!Wis !8#0!+,2#&M
Farr,!Chalotte!Albright!1976!Tabriz!!!!!!!!!!The!Music!of!Professional!!Musicians!in!
!
32!
!!!Northwest!Iran!(Azarbaijan),!UWA!!!!)%ii%8/!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fischer,!Michael!M.J.!1973!Yazd!!!!!!!!!!Zoroastrian!Iran:!Between!Myth!&!Praxis.!!
!!PhD!,!Chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!7%R%%&(V!6,/F/+2(!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!\%,%F/(V![2$(V!c#&#%(+&/%)(!
!!!1975!Qum!!!!!!!!!!The!Qum!Report.!!(Iran:!From!!!!!!!!:%'&%((%(!
Religious!Dispute!to!Revolution!!!!!!!!!!!&2D#8C+/#)!!
Gharatchedaghi,!Cyrus!1967!!!!!!Veramin!!!!!!!!!!The!Distribution!of!Land!in!Veramin.!!!!!!8%)'!&2G#&:!
Goldstein,!Judith!! 1978!Yazd!!!!!!!!!!Interwoven!Identities:!Religious!!
Communities!in!Yazd,!Iran.! ! ![2$(!
PhD.,!Princeton.!
Good,!Byron! ! 1976!Maragheh!!!!!!The!Heart!of!What’s!the!Matter.!!!!!!!!.(M0,/%+&M!
Ph.D.!(Chicago)!!
Good,!Mary-Jo!D.!! 1977!Maragheh!!!!!!Social!Hierarchy!and!Social!Change!in!!!!!,2%8+,!0%&2!
a!Provincial!Iranian.!PhD!Harvard!
Goodell,!Grace! ! 1970s!Dezful!!!!!!!!!!The!Elementary!Structures!of!Political!!!!!!!(,%,&%L(!
Life.!!PhD,!Columbia.! ! %-&#<7C(/)2((!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hegland,!Mary! ! 19!Shiraz!!!!!!!!!!!!!Imam!Khomeini’s!Village:!Recruitment!
!!!!!!to!Revolution.!!SUNY!Binghamton!!!!!!!!
Higgins,!Patricia!! 1974!Tehran!!!!!!!!!!Socialization!in!Modern!Iranian!Elementary!
!!!!!!Schools.!!Berkeley.!!! ! !!!!(#0/%8/R%+/#)!
Hooglund,!Eric! ! 1975! ! !!!!!!!!!The!Effects!of!the!Land!Reform!Program!on!
!!!!!!!!![polit!sci]!!!!!Rural!Iran,!1962-72.!PhD,!SAIS !8%)'!&2G#&:!
Kendall,!K.W.! ! 1968! ! !!!!!!!!!Personality!Development!in!an!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.(M0,!
Iranian!Village.!PhD,!U.!Wa.!
Keshavjee,!Rafique!1981!Mashhad!!!!!!!!The!Quest!for!Gnosis!and!the!Call!of!!
!!!!History:!Modernization!among!!!!!!!!!!!;(:%/8/(!
the!Ismailis!of!Iran,!!PhD!Harvard !!!!
Loeb,!Larry! ! 1970!Shiraz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The!Jews!of!Southwest!Iran.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![2$(!!
!!!!!!Ph.D.!Columbia.!
MacIntire,!Emily!! 197!Lar! ! PhD.,!Harvard +&%'2
Mills,!Margaret! ! 1978!Herat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oral!Narrative!in!Afghanistan.!!!!!!#&%8!0C8+C&2!
PhD,!Harvard.!!!!! !
Noland,!Soraya! ! 1976! ! !!!!!!!!!Ethnography!of!an!Iranian!Village!Buffalo!!D/88%-2!
Page,!Mary!Ellen!! 1977!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!‘Naqqali’!and!Ferdowsi:!Creativity!in!!!!!!!!!!!!!)%i%8/!
the!Iranian!National!Tradition.!
!!!!!!Tradition.!!Ph.D,!Penn.!
Rotblat,!Howard!! 1972!Qazvin!!!!!!!Stability!and!Change!in!in!an!Iranian!!!!!!!!!!!!7%R%%&!
Provincial!Bazaar!Ph.D!Chicago! ! !!!!!!!!!!!
Safinejad,!Javad! ! 1972! ! !!!!!!!\#)2,!!(U.!Tehran)!!!!!!!!8%7#&!C)/+(!
(Seger,!Martin![Geog]!1978!!!!!!Tehran!!!!!!!!"2,&%)K!*/)2!6+%+-2#-&%.,/(0,2!6+C'/2!!!!!!!!!!7%R%%&!
Soraya,!Mehdi! ! 196! ! !!!!!!!Ph.D.!Wisc.!
Stilo,!Donald!![Ling]!1971!NW!Iran!!!!!!!A!Grammar!of!Vafsi-Tati.!Ph.D.!Mich.!!!!!!!!!'/%820+(!
Thaiss,!Gus! ! 1973!Tehran!!!!!!!!!The!Drama!of!Hossein.!!PhD!U.WA!!!!!!!!!7%R%%&!&28/-!
Thompson,!Caroline!c!1979!!!Mazandaran!PhD,!UT Austin!
Thompson,!C.!Tom.!1979!Mazandaran!!!A!Persian!Miniature:!The!Value!of!
!!!!!!Tradition!in!a!Mazandaran!Village.!!!!!!!!D/88%-2(!
!!!!!!PhD., UT Austin
Zonis,!Marvin![G]!1971!Tehran!!!!!!!The!Political!Elite!of!Iran.!!(PhD!MIT)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!28/+2(!
!
!
ethnographers of uran iran and its diasporas 1980s-1990s
!
Abedi,!Mehdi! ! 1988!!!Houston!!!!!!!Shi’ism!in!Transition.!!PhD,!Rice!!!!!6,/F/(:V!'/%(.#&%!
Abdollah-Khan-Gorji,!Bahram.!1997.!!Tehran!!!Urban!Form!Transformation:!The!
!!!!!!Experience!of!Tehran!Before!&!After!!!!!!!!!C&7%)!
!
33!
!!!!!!the!1979!Islamic!Revolution!USC G#&:!
Adelkhah,!Fariba!1989! ! !!!!!!!?!!!!!PhD.,!Ecole des Hautes Etudes!!
Behzad,!Kavous! ! 1996!!!!!!!Tehran!!!!!!!!!Self,!Culture!&!Emotions:!An!Iranian
Case Study. Ph.D., Boston!College psych!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bozorgmehr,!Mehdi!!1992!LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Internal!Ethnicity:!Armenian,!Bahai,!Jewish!!
[Soc.]!!!!!and!Muslim!Iranians!in!Los!Angeles.!!!!!!'/%(.#&%!
PhD,!UCLA!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!P2+,)/0/+MQ!
Dallalfar,!Arlene!! 1989!LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Iranian!Immigrant!Women!in!Los!Angeles:!!
The!Reconstruction!of!Work,!Ethnicity!!
and!Community.!!PhD,!UCLA.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'/%(.#&%!
Ghadessi,!Maryam!1996!Tehran!!!!!!!!An!Integrative!Approach!to!Finance!in!!
![Econ]!!!!!Developing!Countries:!the!case!of!Iran!!!!!G/)%)02!
!!!!!!Ph.D.,!Utah
Ghandchi-Tehrani,!Davoud!!1982.!!!!!!!!!!Bazaaris!&!Clergy:!Socioeconomic!Origins!of!!!!!7%R%%&!
!!!!!!Radicalism!&!Revolution!in!Iran.!CUNY
Haeri,!Shahla! ! 1985! ! !!!!!!!Contracts!as!Models!for!Sexual!Unions:!! !
Temporary!Marriage,!Mu’ta!in!! ! (/-,2,!
Cotemporary!Iran.!!Ph.D.,!UCLA.!!
Haery,!Mahmoud.!1982! ! !!!!!!!Ru-Howzi:!The!Iranian!Traditional!!!!!!!!!!!!!&C<,#$R/!
!!!!!![Performance]!!!!Improvisatory!Theatre.!
!!!!!!PhD,!NYU!(Performance!Studies)!
Hoffman,!Diane! ! 1986! ! !!!!!!!Culture!Learning!and!Culture!Adaptation!among!
!!!!!!Iranians!in!California.!!Stanford.!!%00C8+C&%+/#)!
Kestenberg-Amirghi,!Janet!!1984! ! !!!!!!!Zoroastrians:!Persistence!of!a!Small!Minority!
!!!!!!Group!in!Moslem!Iran!(Ethnic!Group).!!!
Ph.D.,!Missouri !!!!!!!!!!!2+,)/0/+M!
Lotfalian,!Mazyar!1999! ! !!!!!!!Technoscientific!Identities:!Muslims!and!the!!
Culture!of!Curiosity.!PhD,!Rice!!!!!!!!!!!!(0/!l!+20,!
Mir-Hosseini,!Ziba!1980!Kalardasht!!!!Changing!Aspects!of!Econoomy!and!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!D/88%-2!
!!!!!!and!Family!in!Kalardasht,!A!District!
!!!!!!in!Northern!Iran.!!Cambridge !!-2)'2&!
Moslehi,!Shahnaz!1986! ! !!!!!!!An!Iranian!Information!Educational!Network!!
in!America.!!!PhD,!USC
Naderi,!Nader!Afshar!!!!!!!!!![Dean,!Institute!for!Rural!&!Peasant!Studies]!
Naficy,!Hamid!!![TV]!1993!LA!!!!!!!!The!Making!of!Exile!Cultures:!Iranian!! ! :2'/%!
!!!!!!Television!in!Los!Angeles.!!PhD!UCLA 20#)!
Najmabadi,!Shahnaz!!!!!!!!!!PhD.,!Heidelberg!
Pliskin,!Karen! ! 1984!Shiraz,!!!!!!!!Silent!Boundaries:!Communication,!Illness!!
!!!!Israel! ! and!the!Dilemmas!of!Diagnosis!of!!!!!!!!!!!!!.(M0,!l!
!!!!!!Iranians!in!Israel.!!PhD,!Harvard :2)+%8!,8+,
Reckord, Tom 1987 Chant in Popular Iranian Shi’ism. UCLA music
Safizadeh,!Fereydoun!1985!Azarbaijan!!!Agrarian!Change,!Migration,!and!Impact!!
!!of!the!Islamic!Revolution!in!a!Village!!!!&C&%8<C&7%)!
Community!inAzarbaijan,!Iran.!!!
PhD!Harvard!
Sullivan,!Zoreh!![Eng]!2001! ! !!!!!!!Exiled!Memories:!Stories!of!Iranian!Diaspora.!!'/%(.#&%!
!
!
ethnographers of pastoralist Iran 1970s
!
(Ansari,!Mostafa)!1974!The!History!of!Khuzistan:!1878-1925.!! ! !!k,CR/(+%)!
![hist]!!!!PhD!(Chicago)! !
Amanolahi,!Sekandar!!1975.!The!Baharvand,!Former!Pastoralists!of!Iran.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IC&(!
PhD!(Rice).!
Barth,!Frederick.!!!1953!Principles!of!Social!Organization!in!S.!Kurdistan!!!!!!!!!!!kC&'(!
!
34!
1964.!!!Nomads!of!South!Persia.!!(Oslo)!!!!!!!!!!\%((2&/!
!!!!!!!!!!!(+&%+/G/0%+/#)V!20#)!0M082(!
Amir-Moez,!Yasmine!1985! ! Ecole des Hautes Etudes! ! !!m%(,i%F/!
Beck,!Lois! ! 1976.!Local!Organization!among!Qashqa’I!Nomadic!!
!!!!!!Pastoralists!in!Iran.!!PhD!(Chicago)! !!!!!m%(,i%F/!
Black-Michaud,!Jacob!!1976.!!!The!Economics!of!Oppression:!Ecology!and!!
!!!!!!Stratification!in!an!Iranian!Tribal!Society.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IC&(!
PhD!(SOAS)! ! !!!!!!!!!%-&#<.%(+#&%8!0#:7/)2(!
Borghei,!M! ! 1981!Social!Stratification!and!Political!Organization!in!!!!!!!!!!!!!\%8C0,!
!!!!!Bent!&!Fnudge!(Baluchistan).!Manchester.!!!
Bradburd,!Dan.!! ! 1979!Kinship!&!Contract:!The!Social!Organization!of!the!
Komachi!of!Kerman.!!CUNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!k#:%0,/!
Brooks,!David.!!!!!!!!!!!!\%L,+/%&/!
Friedl!(Loeffler),!Erika!!!1971-!! Settled!Boir!Ahmad!(after!Vienna!Ph.D.)!! \#/&!3,:%'!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!$#:2)V!(2++82'!)#:%'(!
(Garthwaite,!Gene)!1969!!! The!Bakhtiari!Khans:!Tribal!Disunity,1880-1915!!!\%L,+/%&/!
!!!!!
UCLA
Gholamreza,!Fazel!1971.!!!!Economic!Organization!and!Change!Among!the!
Boyer!Ahmad.”!!PhD!(Berkeley)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!\#/&!3,:%'!
Irons,!William.!!! !! 1969!!!!The!Yomut!Turkomen.!!PhD!(Mich).! !!!!!!e#:C+!"C&L#:2)!
Leach,!Edmund!R.!1938`!(Social!&!Economic!Organization!of!the!! ! !!!!!!!!!!kC&'(!
!!!!!Rowanduz!Kurds.!LSE PhD,!on!Burma)! ! ! !
Loeffler,!Rheinhold!1971-!!!Settled!Boir!Ahmad!(after!Vienna!Ph.D.)!!!!!!\#/&!3,:%'!
Masters,!W.!M.! ! 1953!Rowanduz.!!Ph.D.!,!Michigan.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!kC&'(!
Nadjmabadi,!Shahnaz!1975! Die!Shirawand!in!West!Lorestan:!mit!besonderer!!!!6,/&%$%)'!
Beruecksichtigungdes!Verwandtschafts-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IC&(!
system!!PhD.,!!Heidelberg!
Oberling,!Pierre! ! 1960!Turkic!Peoples!of!South!Iran.!!PhD!(Columbia)!
(Pastner,!Nancy)!! 1971.!Sexual!Dichotemization!in!Society!and!Culture:!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!\%8C0,/!
!!!!!The!Women!of!Tanur,!Baluchistan.!
!!!!!Ph.D.!Brandeis!
(Pastern,!Stephen)!1971!Camp!and!Territory!among!the!Nomads!of!!!!!!!!!!!\%8C0,/!
Northern!Makran!District,!Baluchistan.!
PhD!Brandeis!
Pehrson,!R.!! ! 1966!The!Social!Organization!of!the!Marri!Baluch,!!!!!!!!!!!\%8C0,/!
Saltzer,!Richard!E.!1974!Social!organization!of!a!Nomadic!Pastoral!!
Nobility!in!Southern!Iran:!The!Kashkuli!!!!!!!m%(,i%F/!
Kucheck!Tribe!of!the!Qashqa’i.!!
PhD.!(Berkeley)!
Saltzman,!Philip! !! 1972!Adaptation!and!Change!Among!the!Yaramadzai!!!!!!!!!!\%8C0,/!
Baluch.!!PhD!(Chicago)!
Shahbazi,!Mohammad!!!1998!Formal!Education,!Schoolteachers,!and!Ethnic!Identity!
!!!!!among!the!Qashqa’I!of!Iran.!!Wash. U.!!!!!!!m%(,i%F/!
Shahshahani,!S.! ! 1981!The!Four!Seasons!of!the!Sun:!An!Ethnography!of!the!
!!!!!Sedentarized!Village!of!the!Mamasani!!!
Pastoral!Nomads!of!Iran.!!New!School!!!!j%:%(%)/!
Spooner,!Brian! ! 1969!Religious!and!Political!Leadership!in!Persian!!
Baluchistan.!!Oxford! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!\%8C0,/!
Susuki,!Yuko! ! 2000! ! Ecoles des Hautes Etudes!!Owrizi,!Doshmanziyari,!!
!!!!!!!!!Boir!Ahmadi!Lurs! !
Tapper,!Nancy!Starr!1968.!!!!!The!Role!of!Women!in!Selected!Pastoral!Islamic!!
!!!!!!Societies.!!MA!Thesis!(London).!!
Tapper,!Richard.!!! !1971.!!!!!The!Shahsavan!of!Azarbaijan:!A!Study!of!Political!!!!!6,%,(%D%)'!
and!Economic!Change!in!a!Middle!Eastern!!
Tribal!Society”!!PhD!(London).!
!
35!
Wright,!Susan! ! 1985!Identities!and!Influence:!Political!Organization!in!
!!!!!Doshman!Ziari,!Iran.!!(Oxford)! ! !!!!j%:%(%)/!
!
!
ethnographers of uran iran and its diasporas 2000-2010
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Akcapar,!Sebnem.!K.!!2006!Iranian!Transit!Migrants!in!Turkey. Leuven! !+&%)(/+!:/-&%)+(!
Alexanian,!Janet!A.!!!2009.!!!Constructing!Iran:!Conflict,!Community,!and!the!Politics!!!!&2.&2(2)+!
!!!!!of!Representation!in!the!Digital!Age.!!PhD,!UCI
Behrouzan,!Orkideh!2010!Prozac!Diaries:!Post-rupture!Subjectivities!&!!
Psychiatric!Futures!!!Ph.D.,!MIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.(M0,/%+&/0!(28D2(!
Chini,!Niloufar![Psych[!2009!Post-Traumatic!Stress!Disorder!in!Iranian!Immigrants!!!g"61!
Relationship!to!Cognitive!Functioning.!!PhD,!
Alliant International!University!
Darznik,!Jasmin.!!![Eng]!2007!Writing!Outside!the!Veil:!Literature!by!Women!of!the!!!!!!!!!'/%(.#&%!
Iranian!Diaspora.!!Princeton $&/+/)-!
Erami,!Narges! ! 2009!carpets!!!!!!!0%&.2+(!
Fozi,!Navid! ! TBA!Ahl-e!Haq! ! BU
Gerth,!Helen! ! 2009!Zoroasrians!on!the!Internet,!A!Quiet!Social!Moevment:!!!!!!!!/)+2&)2+!
Ethnography!of!a!Virtual!Community.!!!!
MA.!Thesis,!Nevada,!Las!Vegas!
Hooshmandrad,!Partow!2004!Performing!the!Belief:!Sacred!Musical!Practice!of!the!!!!!!&/+C%8!:C(/0!
!!!!!Ahl-I!Haqq!of!Guran.!!PhD,!UC!Berkeley.!
Javadzadeh,!Abdolrahim!2007!Marxists!into!Muslims:!The!Iranian!Irony.!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!/'2#8#-M!
PhD,!Florida International!
Kalami,!Proshat! !! 2007!Poetic!Cinema:!Trauma!and!Memory!in!Iranian!Film.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!G/8:!
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Kamalkhani,!Z.! ! 1996!Women’s!Islam:!Religious!Practice!among!Women!in!
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Kanlantary,!Afsaneh!2005!Exilic!Yearnings!and!Diasporic!Homes:!An!Ethnography!!!!!'/%(.#&%!
!!!!!of!Memory,!Place,!Race!and!Gender!among!
!!!!!Iranian!Exiles!in!Berlin,!Germany.!!PhD!UCSC
Keshavarzian,!Arang!2007!A!Bazaar!and!Two!Regimes:!Governance!&!Mobilization!
[polit!sci]!!!in!the!Tehran!Marketplace!1963-the!present)!!
Princeton !!!!!!!!!7%R%%&!
Khanideh,!Shirin!! 2007!Attitudes!Towards!Female!Iranian!Immigrants!Toward!!!!!!!!!!.(M0,!
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!!!!!Acculturation.!!Ph.D.,!!Mass. School!of!!
Professional!Psychology.!
Khosronejad,!Pedram! ?! !!title?!!!!!Ph.D.,!Ecole des Hautes Etudes!! ! !!!!!?!
Khosravi,!Shahram!2003!The!Third!Generation:!The!Islamic!Order!of!Things!and!!!!!!!!!!M#C+,!
Cultural!Defiance!Among!the!Young!of!Tehran.!!!
Ph.D.,!Stockholm!!
Loeffler,!Agnes,!MD!2001!Allopathy!goes!Native:!Models,!Motives,!and!Medicine!!!!!!!:2'/0/)2!
!!!!!in!Iran.!!MD/PhD!Illinois!
Mahdavi,!Pardis! ! 2009!Passionate!Uprisings:!Iran’s!Sexual!Revolution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-2)'2&!
!!!!!(PhD,!Columbia)!
Manoukian,!Setrag!2001!The!City!of!Knowledge:!History!and!Culture!in!Shiraz.!
!!!!!PhD,!Michigan!!!!!
Mobasher,!Mohsen!1996`!Class,!Ethnicity,!Gender,!and!the!Ethnic!Economy:!the!case!
!!!!!of!Iranian!Immigrants!in!Dalls.!!SMU!!!!!!/::/-&%)+!20!
Moinzadeh,!Hassan!Ali!2004!Secret!of!Gay!Being!Embodying!Homosexual!Libido!in!the!!!!-2)'2&!
Iranian!Imagination.!PhD,!Pacifica!Grad.!Inst.!
Naficy,!Nahal! ! 2007!Persian!Miniature!Writing:!An!Ethnography!of!Iranian!
!!!!!Organizations!in!Washington,!D.C.!!Ph.D.,!Rice!
!
36!
(Motahedeh,!Negar)!1998!Representing!the!Unrepresentable:!Historical!Images!of!!!!!!!!!!!!G/8:!
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!!!!!of!Iran.!!Ph.D.,!Minn.!
Osanloo,!Arzoo! ! 2002!At!the!Juncture!of!Islam!and!Republic:!Socio-legal! ! !!0#C&+(!
!!!!!Constructions!of!Women’s!Rights!in!Iran.!!!!!!!!!!! !-2)'2&!
!!!!!PhD,!Stanford!
Rassoukh,!Ramyar!TBA!Ethnography!of!Iranian!Film-Making.!!Harvard G/8:!
Rochard,!Philippe!2000!Le!‘sport!antique’!des!zurkhane!de!Teheran:!Formes!et!
!!!!!significations!d’un!pratique!contemporaine=!!!!!!!!!!RC&L,%)2!
!!!!!PhD.,!Aix-en-Provence!
Rohani,!Talieh! ! 2009!Nostalgia!without!Memory:!Iranian-Americans,!Cultural!!!!!'/%(.#&%!
!!!!!Programming,!and!Internet!Television.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:2'/%!l!!
MA!Thesis,!CMS,!MIT /'2)+/+M!
Rouhani,!Farhang!2001!The!Home!as!a!Site!of!State!Formation:!The!Politics!of!!
![polit.!geog]!!!State!Formation:!the!Politics!of!Media!Consumption!
!!!!!in!Tehran,!Iran.!Arizona![4!mo.!fieldwork]!!!!!(%+288/-2!+D!
Sahraee-Smith,!A.!2001!The!Political!Economy!of!Mourning:!A!Study!of!Practiced!
!!!!!Islam!and!Gender!in!Urban!Iran.!London!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!&/+C%8!
Sohrabi,!Naghmeh!1995!Weapons!of!Propaganda,!Weapons!of!War:!Iranian!War!!!!!!!$%&!G/8:!
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Soomekh,!Saba! ! 2008!Between!Religion!and!Culture:!Three!Generations!of!!!!![2$(!
![Rel]!!!!Iranian!Jewish!Women!from!the!Shahs!to!!
!!!!!Los!Angeles.!!PhD,!UCSB
Talebi,!Shahla.! ! 2007!Discriminatory!Discourses!of!Self!Sacrifice:!State!&!Dissident!
!!!!!Martyrs!in!Post-Revolutionary!Iran.!!Columbia!!(,%,/'!
Torab,!A.! ! 1998!Neighborhoods!of!Piety,!Gender!and!Ritual!in!South!Tehran.!
!!!!!London.!!!
Varzi,!Roxanne! ! 2006!Visionary!Terrains!of!Post-Revolution!Iran:!War,!Youth,!!!!!!!
!!!!!!Culture,!Media!&!Public!Space.!PhD,!Columbia
Vivier,!Anne-Sophie!2004!Comment!peut-on!être!Afzadi?!Individu!et!société!dans!un!!!D/88%-2!
!!!!!village!persan.!Ecoles des Hautes Études!
Zahir,!Sanam! ! 2008!The!Music!of!Children!of!Revolution:!The!State!of!Music!an!!!!:C(/0!
!!!!!and!Emergence!of!the!Underground!Music!in!the!
!!!!!Islamic!Republic!of!Iran!with!an!Analysis!of!its!
!!!!!Lyrical!Content.!!!M.A.!Thesis,!Arizona.!
Zeydabadi-Nejad,!Saed!2007!Politics!of!Cinema!under!the!Islamic!Republic,!PhD,!SOAS 0/)2:%!
!
!
!
!
Visual Ethnographers
ethnographic and documentary film
!
Bahari,!Maziar.!!!])8/)2!3M%+C88%,!!!![Youseef!Sanae’i!in!Qum]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!routine!of!an!Ayatullah!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!g%/)+!5#!j%++2&!h,%+![Khosrow!Hassanzadeh)!!!!!!!!!!!!painter!
!!9##+7%88!;&%)/%)!6+M82!(2001)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!soccer!!
!!3)'!38#)-!B%:2!%!6./'2&!!(2002)!!!!!!!!!!serial!murders!in!Mashad!
!!"%&-2+(K!N2.#&+2&(!/)!;&%i!![PTSD!among!reporters]!
!!4&22+/)-!G&#:!6%'&!B/+M!
!!3!BC8+!+,%+!$#C8'!72!%)!3&:M![Mujahedin!Khalq]!
!!",2!9%88!#G!%!6,%,!
!!3)!;&%)/%)!]'M((2M!
!!j#((%'2i,!(2010)!
Bani-Etemad,!Rakhshan!!!
!
37!
2009.!!h2!3&2!`%8G!;&%)F(!g#.C8%+/#).!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!women!candidates2009!elections!
2009.!!3)-28(!#G!",2!`#C(2!#G!+,2!6C)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!women’s!shelter!
2002.!!NCR2-%&<2!j%!S]C&!"/:2().!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!women!candidates!2001!elections!
!!!!!!!2001.!!c/&!gC(+<2!6,%,&!(_)'2&!+,2!6L/)!#G!+,2!B/+M)!!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!women’s!issues!&!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!![narrative!film!framed!by!Our!times]! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!elections!
!!!!!!!1998!!\%)##<M/!]&'/72,2,(+!(May!Lady)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!women!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![documentary!footage!of!women!talking!about!their!!
lives!fused!with!narrative!structure]!
Bozorgnia,!Mahran.!!
2009.!!The!Bakhtiari.!!avail.!on!Iranian.com!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bakhtiari!
!!!!!!!http://www.iranian.com/main/2010/mar/bakhtiari-nomads!
Cooper,!Meriam,!Ernest!Schoedsak,!&!Margarite!Harrison.!!1925.!!“4&%((K!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bakhtiari!
3!5%+/#)F(!\%++82!G#&!I/G2.”!!
!Maghsoudlou,!Bahman.!!2009.!!Grass:!Untold!Stories.!!!Mazda.!PN1997.G684!M34!
Farshad,!Aryana.!!2003.!!jM(+/0!;&%)K!_)(22)!h#&8'.!!!!!!!!!!!!rituals!
Hamz,!Amir!&!Mark!Lazarz.!!2006.!!6#+<2!6#LC+.!!!Sounds!of!Silence! ! !!!!!underground!music!
Hanachi,!Khatereh.!!B#C)+'#$)!!!!!!!!!!!!studying!for!konkur!
Farokhzad,!Forukh.!!1962.!!",2!`#C(2!/(!\8%0L=!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!leper!colony!
Kiarostami,!Bahman.!!!
!2003!5C&V!8C:/n&2(!2+!0,%)+(!'%)(!82(!Y-8/(2(!'F;&%).!5!Iranian!&!French!
!!singers!test!the!acoustics!of!6!Assyrian!&!Armenian!churches!
!!in!Azarbaijan!
!2004!1#!k%:%)0,2,!(Two!Bows)!!contrasting!fates!of!!2!komanceh! ! !!!!!!!!!!music!
!!players,!one!in!Italy,!one!in!Bandar!Turkamen!
!2004!;)G/'28(!(Koffar)!!the!Chuleh!speaking!Godar!gypsies!in!Iran! ! !!!!!!!!gypsies!
2005!c/%&%+!Sg/8-&/:%-2)!intense!pressure!at!the!border!crossing!to!!
!get!to!Karabla!
!2005!\%-,2!;&%)/!(Persian!Garden)!artists!resond!to!the!garden! ! !!!!!aesthetics!
!2006!6,%7/L,%)/!(Re-Enactment)!!!!!!!!!passion!play!
!2007!4#:)%:!(Anonymous)!!story!of!photographer!Jehangir!Razmi!power!of!photo!
!!who!took!the!Pulitzer!prize!wining!photo!of!the!1979!execution!!
of!11!Kurds!by!11!Revolutionary!Guard!squad!
!2008!!j#a%((%:2,%M<2!"2,&%)!(Monuments!of!Tehran)! ! !!!!!!contest!over!statues!
!2009!!I%!B%D2!3CJ!"&Y#&(!(Cave!of!Treasures![Museum!of!\!
Contemporary!Art)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!contest!over!art!
Mir-Hosseini,!Ziba!&!Kim!Longinotto.!!!
1998.!!1/D#&02!;&%)/%)!6+M82.!!!!! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!courtroom!
2001!!!NC)%$%M=!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!teen!girl’s!shelter!
Moshar,!Bahman.!!2001.!!jM!5%:2!/(!N#0LM.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!runaways!
Persson!
Saba,!Sadegh.!!2009.!!",2!*820+/#)!+,%+!6,##L!;&%).!!BBC.! ! !!!!!video!cell-phone!reporting!&!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!elections!
Safizadeh,!Fereydoun.!!1978.!!e2M8#-V!m/(,8#i.!!The!lure!of!Grass!and!the! ! !!!!Shahsavand!
!cinematography!of!Shahsavand!Nomades.!!(30!Jan!2003,!Iranian.com)!
!http://www.iranian.com/Features/Dec97/Identity/index.html!
Safizadeh,!Fereydoun.!!1993.!B,/8'&2)!#G!+,2!N2D#8C+/#):!Transnational!!!!!!!!!!!!!children!N.!Calif.!
!Identity!Among!Young!Iranians!in!Northern!California,!A!Video!!
Project.!http://www.iranian.com/Features/Dec97/Identity/index.html!
(16!Dec!1997.!Iranian.com).!
Safizadeh,!Fereydoun.!!2005.!!Iran’s!Azarbaijan!Province!and!Astara!(photos).!!!
Singer,!Andre!
Taghavi,!Nasser.!!2005.!1&2((!N2,2%&(%8K!",2!\&%D2!`C&&o(!"%Fc/2,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!passion!plays!
!
!
Posters, Cartoons, Graphic Arts, Galleries/Museums/satire
!
38!
Alexanian,!Janet.!!re.!book!covers!(ch.!4).!
Amirsadeghi,!Hossein.!!2009.!!Different!Sames:!New!Perspectives!in!Contemporary!
!Iranian!Art.!!Thames!&!Hudson!
Bahmanpour,!Mahmoud!&!Catherine!Millet,!ed.!2010.!!L’Iran!Devoile!par!ses!Artistes!
!/Iran!Unveiled.!!Art!Press2!(Mai/!Juin/!Juillet).!
Chelkowski,!Peter!and!Hamid!Dabashi.!!1999.!!6+%-/)-!%!N2D#8C+/#)K!",2!3&+!#G!
!g2&(C%(/#)!/)!+,2!;(8%:/0!N2.C78/0!#G!;&%)=!!!
Fischer,!M!and!M.!Abedi!!1990.!“Autographically!Changing!Iran!!Minor!Media!!!
&!Bicultural!Graphics”!in!Fischer!&!Abedi.!!127%+/)-!jC(8/:(K!BC8+C&%8!!
1/%8#-C2(!/)!g#(+:#'2&)/+M!%)'!"&%'/+/#)=!!!
Fischer,!M.!!2009.!!“Iran!and!the!Boomeranging!Cartoon!Wars:!Can!a!Public!Sphere!
at!Risk!Ally!with!Public!Spheres!Yet!to!be!Achieved?”!BC8+C&%8!g#8/+/0(!5:1!
Hemami,!Taraneh.!!2009.!!“The!Theory!of!Survival:!An!Interview”!!Interviewed!by!
!Behrooz!Ghamari-Tabrizi.!!Radical!History!Review.!105:!93-105.!
Lotfalian,!Mazyar.!2010.!!“Galleries!as!Zones!of!Culture-making:!Modern!Art!in!the!!
Islamic!Republic!of!Iran.”!
Nabavi,!Ebrahim.!!2009!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zVx64sB6TA&feature=related!
Jobrani,!Maz.!2010.!http://persianmc.net/video-482-Maz-Jobrani---Census-2010-.html!
Safizadeh,!Fereydoun.!!2007.!!!“Visa!to!Mashhad?!!The!Dynamics!of!Ethnicity!
In!Iran.”!!Iranian.com.!!!!!
http://www.iranian.com/Safizadeh/2007/February/Azerbaijan110/index.html!
!
!!
!
Reading for the Ethnography via narrative film
Fischer,!M.M.J.!!2004.!!“Seeing!After!Film”!(“Awaiting!the!Revolution”;!“Filmic!!
Judgment”;!“War!Again”)!!Pt!II!of!!jC+2!1&2%:(V!\8/)'!]$8(V!%)'!!
1/(.2&(2'!k)#$82-2(K!g2&(/%)!g#2(/(!/)!+,2!"&%)()%+/#)%8!B/&0C/+&M.!!!
!
!
!
Earlier reviews:
1977!!!Fischer,!MMJ.!!“Persian!Society:!Transformation!and!Strain.”!!in!Amirsadeghi,!Hossein!and!R.W.!!
Ferrier,!eds.!!"$2)+/2+,!B2)+C&M!;&%).!!!
2005.!!Fazeli,!N.!!g#8/+/0(!#G!BC8+C&2!/)!;&%)K!3)+,&#.#8#-MV!g#8/+/0(!%)'!6#0/2+M!/)!+,2!
!!"$2)+/2+,!B2)+C&M.!
!!!!!!reviewed!by:!!Fischer,!MMJ.!!2006.!;)+2&)%+/#)%8![#C&)%8!#G!j/''82!*%(+!6+C'/2(.
2009.!!Nadjmabadi,!Shahnaz!R.,!ed.!!!B#)02.+C%8/R%+/)-!;&%)/%)!3)+,&#.#8#-MK!g%(+!l!g&2(2)+!!
! ! g2&(.20+/D2(=!!Berghahn.!
!!!!!!!!!!refers!back!to!the!2004!special!issue!of!;&%)/%)!6+C'/2(,!vol.!37:4,!a!collection!of!accounts!
!!of!fieldwork!by!several!of!the!same!authors.!!Among!the!more!interesting!tidbit!are!!
Yuko!Suzuki’s!observations!on!the!sharing!system!among!the!very!poor!Owrizi!in!!
which!she!allowed!her!self!to!participate!with!salutary!results;!Mary!Hegland’s!!
observations!on!care!of!the!aging!(mothers!live!with!sons,!but!daughters!do!the!!
physical!care-giving,!not!daughters!in!law!in!the!village!of!Aliabad-e!Shiraz);!and!!
Shahnaz!Nadjmabadi’s!account!of!sayyids!managing!to!claim!ownership!
of!deep!wells!and!their!exploitative!relations!with!farmers!in!Khorassan.!
!especially!important!in!the!Nadjmabadi!volume!are!the!accounts!of!institutional!!
!!anthropology!in!Iran!by!Fazzeli,!Farouhi,!and!Shahshahani,!and!the!historical!
!!background!to!their!field!projects!by!Mir-Hosseini!and!Tapper!
!
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39!
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!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1!N%/(/)-!+,2!"#)2!#G!g,/8#(#.MK!I%+2!*((%M(!7M!;::%)C28!k%)+V!"&%)(G#&:%+/D2!
B&/+/iC2!7M![%0iC2(!12&&/'%,!edited!by!Peter!Fenves!(JHU!1993).!!!
!
2!!Defenders!of!the!mystical!tradition!would!sharply!argue!that!what!exists!in!
Afghanistan!is!perversion!precisely!because!money!and!power!are!the!drivers.!!And!
it!is!precisely!that!division!between!the!dominance!dynamics!and!homosocial!
affection!that!is!the!subject!of!much!causual!male!joking!in!Iran:!to!be!caught!on!the!
wrong!side!of!this!is!a!matter!of!consequence.!!The!most!recent!of!a!number!of!
investigative!journalist!accounts!on!bacce!bazi!in!Afghanistan!is!the!documentary!by!
Quraishi,!Najibullah!and!Jamie!Doran,!“The!Dancing!Boys!of!Afghanistan,”!A!Clover!
Films!production!for!WGBH/FRONTLINE,!aired!on!20!April!2010.!
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dancingboys/etc/credits.html!
!
3!Sharam!Khosravi!posted!a!copy!of!a!document!from!the!head!of!the!Herasat!
organiztion,!the!ideology!minders!in!every!government!unit,!enjoing!close!
monitoring!of!anyone!who!comes!to!seek!statistical!or!other!data!without!formal!!
permission,!and!holding!these!minders!accountable!for!the!unnecessary!release!of!
information.!!!
!
4!in!Vatanabadi,!Shouleh!and!Mohammad!Mehdi!Khorrami,!ed.!!2004.!!Another!Sea,!
Another!Shore:!Persian!Stories!of!Migration.!!Northampton,!MA.:!Interlink!Books.!
Article
Full-text available
Twelve cartoons, published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005, nine cartoons published in the Tehran newspaperIran in May 2006, and two hundred eighty-two cartoons curated in Tehran in September 2006 provide a useful case study in the experimentation with new and old media in the transnational circuitry. At stake are the agons, polemos (Greek terms of reference), or luti-jahel-daarvish, “Karbala paradigm,” and jumhuri-ye moral struggles (Persian terms of reference) in Iran and the West over creating and protecting robust public spheres and civil societies. Four perspectives are probed: cultural politics; cultural media histories; the emotional excess (jouissance, petit à) of cultural politics; and the deep play mode of aesthetic judgement formed between the practical and ethical, between political economy and expressive art (including political drama), and between individual self-fashioning on the one hand, and on the other hand changing symbolic and social orders.
Article
This first full-length study of the history of Iranian anthropology charts the formation and development of anthropology in Iran in the twentieth century. The text examines how and why anthropology and culture became part of wider socio-political discourses in Iran, and how they were appropriated, and rejected, by the pre- and post-revolutionary regimes. The author highlights the three main phases of Iranian anthropology, corresponding broadly to three periods in the social and political development of Iran: * the period of nationalism: lasting approximately from the constitutional revolution (1906-11) and the end of the Qajar dynasty until the end of Reza Shah's reign (1941). * the period of Nativism: from the 1950s until the Islamic revolution (1979). * the post-revolutionary period. In addition, the book places Iranian anthropology in an international context by demonstrating how Western anthropological concepts, theories and methodologies affected epistemological and political discourses on Iranian anthropology.
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Thesis (Ph.D. in Music)--University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2004. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 371-384).
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