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Grant number like: FA-50395-04

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Janet Afary
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2004 – 8/31/2005

From Mullah to Goya: The Art and Politics of Mullah Nasreddin, 1906-1917

The trickster figure Mullah Nasreddin is a popular folk character in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Balkans. In 1906, a glossy satirical newspaper called Mullah Nasreddin began publication in Tiblisi. Its editor, Jalil Mamed Qulizadeh, was a famous Muslim playwright. Under his direction, a cast of talented Muslim and Georgian Christian writers and artists adopted the trickster as a transgressive figure that commented on East-West political, cultural, and social differences and attempted to bridge the gap between the two societies. Mullah Nesreddin was the first newspaper in Iran and Central Eurasia to put forward a liberal discourse on Shi'ite Islam and to demand new rights for women. This monograph explores the graphic arts through which this message was articulated.