Ajam Podcast #10: Between Iran and Zion

Episode 10 February 17, 2019 00:26:36
Ajam
Ajam Media Collective Podcast
Ajam Podcast #10: Between Iran and Zion
/

Show Notes

In this episode, Rustin speaks with Lior Sternfeld, Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Penn State University. Dr. Sternfeld is another alumnus from the Emerging Scholarship podcast, when he joined us for a conversation about [Polish Jewish Refugees in Iran during World War II](https://ajammc.com/2015/01/22/lior-sternfeld-polish-refugees-iran/). His new book is called [Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth Century Iran (Stanford University Press, 2018).](https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=27883) Lior gives an overview of the history of the Jewish community in Iran from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Dr. Sternfeld starts by describing how the constitutional movement presented Iranian Jews with an opportunity to advocate for rights as citizens, after which they grew from a peripheral community into a prominent one that made clear impacts on daily life in Iran. Lior focuses on Jewish involvement in Tudeh Party politics and the 1979 Revolution, before ending the podcast with a discussion on the post-revolutionary period, where some 25,000 Jews continue to live.

Episode Transcript

No transcript available...

Other Episodes

Episode 19

July 19, 2020 00:30:38
Episode Cover

Ajam Podcast #19: A Cinematic History of Iranian Cosmopolitanism

In this episode, Rustin interviews Golbarg Rekabtalaei, an Assistant Professor of History at Seton Hall University. She is the author of [Iranian Cosmopolitanism: A Cinematic History](https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/iranian-cosmopolitanism/729C8936B157EC6DA38BE4), published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. Dr. Rekabtalaei traces how the diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds of cinematographers, cinema owners, and cinema goers shaped Iran's urban culture and its citizenry's understanding of modernity. The interview opens with a discussion of the first films produced in Iran: what they looked like, where they were shown, and who was watching them. Then, Dr. Rekabtalaei explains how this cosmopolitanism fed into Iranian national identity and notions of sovereignty in the 1920s and 1930s. The conversation ends with the emergence of both popular cinema (derogatorily labelled "Film Farsi") and alternative cinema (*sinema-ye motevavet*) in the 1950s and 60s. Episode No. 19 Release Date: 20 July 2020 Recording Location: New York City, NY. Produced by Rustin Zarkar and Ali Karjoo-Ravary Audio editing: Nicholas Gunty Music: Yavaran (Intro: "404 day in heaven" Outro: "Har Chi") ...

Listen

Episode 32

January 25, 2021 00:34:13
Episode Cover

Ajam Podcast #32: Chinese Muslims and Imperial Japan

In this episode, Rustin and Ali interview Dr. Kelly Anne Hammond, Assistant Professor of East Asian History in the Department of History at the University of Arkansas, about her book, China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire: Centering Islam in World War II (University of North Carolina Press, November 2020). During World War II, Sino-Muslims (Hui Muslims) were an important focal point for Imperial Japanese propaganda. Japanese imperial officials saw Sino-Muslims as crucial intermediaries that could help not only defeat nationalist and communist opposition in China, but also help bolster an image of the empire as anti-Western protectors of Islam. Building on an older academic tradition of Islamic Studies in Japan, knowledge of Islam was put into imperial service. Combined with the patronage of Muslim schools, mosques, and hajj pilgrimage, the empire aimed to create transnational Muslim networks that were centered in Japan and used Japanese as their new lingua franca. Dr. Hammond shows that these efforts were met with limited success due to the community’s religious and political diversity, as well as the military defeat of Imperial Japan. Even those who were receptive to Japanese efforts ultimately had to ally themselves with other powers following the end of the war, yet the legacy of their role as intermediaries remained even in the Cold War era. ...

Listen

Episode 36

April 12, 2021 00:43:13
Episode Cover

Ajam Podcast #36: Being Persian before Modern Iran

In this episode, Ali interviews Dr. Mana Kia, an Associate Professor in Columbia University’s department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies about her book, [Persianate Selves: Memories of Place and Origin Before Nationalism](http://https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=29033) (Stanford University Press, 2020). If contemporary notions of being Persian are rooted in recent history, what did it mean to be Persian before nationalism? In the interconnected spaces of premodern Asia, Persian served as a language of learning and shared communication that facilitated the exchange of texts, practices, goods, and ideas, creating a Persianate cultural sphere. Persian not only provided a shared language but also gave access to a whole series of broader ideas and practices. In this older sense of being Persian, Dr. Kia has uncovered a conception of selfhood based on a very different understanding of place and origin. In it, people always understood themselves in relation to multiple collectives, not singular nations, origins, or ethnicities. Her study argues that the wide range of possible Persianate selves allowed for a type of pluralism that the nation state has been unable to provide, a pluralism that has more promise than the eurocentric notion of tolerance. The types of kinship that are produced through these shared lineages all center around the vast notion of adab. Adab is “aesthetic in ethical form,” a notion of the proper form of things that guides seeing, experiencing, thinking, and even desiring. It was adab, she argues, that kept Persianate worlds together even as their societies collapsed-- providing a shared pluralistic moral order and language that allowed them to reconstitute after each collapse. Key to this were literary genres like poetry or tazkira writing, serving as acts of commemoration in ...

Listen