Research Programs: Fellowships

Period of Performance

8/1/2024 - 7/31/2025

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

Rhythms of Relation: Decolonizing Identity in Iranian Modernism

FAIN: FEL-294951-24

Maziyar Faridi
Clemson University (Clemson, SC 29634-0001)

Writing of a book on how authors in Iran during the Pahlavi dynasty negotiated their place vis-a-vis Iranian literary history, the Persian language, and the allure of global Modernism.

This monograph foregrounds a poetics of non-identity at the intersection of Iranian and global modernism (1922-1979). Beginning with modern Persian poetry in the 1920s, I trace the transformation of “standard” poetic language through its translational dialogues with global modernist poetry and the rediscovery of a seventeenth-century style of poetry from the Persianate Mughal courts of India. At a time when the state advocated a racially motivated fiction of linguistic purity to consolidate an Iranian (Aryan) identity, this deviation from the poetic norms challenged the hegemony of Persian as a national language. It also produced a transnational network between Iranian poets and internationalist poets such as Langston Hughes. Drawing on archival research in Iran and France, I then argue that this critique of identity transformed the language of Iranian cinema primarily through the works of the poet-filmmakers Férydoun Rahnéma and Forugh Farrokhzad in the 1960s.