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The Alireza Ahmadian Lectures in Iranian and Persianate Studies Present: “Degenerate, Popular, and Forgotten? Politicization and Monetization of Urban Entertainment in Pahlavi Iran”
Relatively understudied and prevalently deployed in the cultural discourse of contemporary Iran, the term “degenerate” (mubtazal) has historically been used to devalue and dismiss a range of arts, most of which belong to the realm of urban popular culture. While in the leftist discourse the term contrasted the valorized politically conscious “committed” (muti‘ahhid), in other contexts degenerate connoted a lack of artistic quality and tastelessness. When applied specifically to performing bodies (performance in its broad sense), the term degenerate incarnated certain types of corporeal qualities, gender performativity, and affect. The term was especially prevalent in the art discourse of the Tudeh Party’s, Iran’s major Marxist organization, which during its heydays in 1940s, was heavily invested in culture and arts as the media of politics. Engaging major literary and artistic figures of the era, the cultural ventures of the party involved producing a number of publications on the topic, and a range of performative forms including theatre, music, and choreographed political demonstrations those of which have greatly shaped Iranian cultural thought and performative politics to this day...

Guest Speaker:
Ida Meftahi, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Boise State University

Ida Meftahi is an assistant professor of Middle Eastern history at Boise State University, where she teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses on Middle Eastern and Iranian history and culture. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. She has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University (2013–14), as well as a visiting assistant professor of contemporary Iranian culture and society at the University of Maryland (2014-2019)...

Mar 13, 2021 04:00 PM in Vancouver

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