The Jadaliyya Iran Page provides a robust and capacious forum to rethink how we have hitherto thought about and represented Iran and Iranians. The page adds to current perspectives and extant practices of knowledge production about the country and its place in the world. Above all, it encourages studied critique, self-reflection, and a capacity for imagination in a collective effort to give shape to new language concerning Iran—its peoples, its histories, and its possible futures.
Iranian politics and perceptions thereof have long been inseparable from its coverage in Anglophone mass media. Iran’s forty-year perch in the news cycle and the unprecedented fall-out that ensued in the aftermath of the 1979 Revolution over-determined conversations and public understanding of its variegated and polyvocal histories, political movements, social trends, cultures, and arts.
The Jadaliyya Iran Page aims to re-orient Iran, to surpass tired polemics and stale historiographies. Existing media platforms on the left and right tend to publish material aligned with predominant and policy-inflected discourses and frameworks. Even the very best analysis follows the breadcrumbs of daily events, gravitating towards elite exchanges and diplomatic wrangling to the exclusion of nearly everything else. While we recognize the importance of some of this work, we also see little reason to reproduce it, as well as the prevailing logics which tend to underwrite it. Instead we wish to provide reflective, thought-provoking analyses that reimagine the frame altogether, and think Iran anew.
The Iran Page situates the vicissitudes of Iran’s domestic scene in a regional and global perspective. This includes the Iranian diaspora. The fact that it is hosted on Jadaliyya is hardly incidental. The methodological nationalism and Eurocentrism long characterizing much Iran scholarship and policy literature has evinced its limitations, blind spots, and occlusions. The assumption that life in Iran can be extricated from the fate and histories of peoples in neighboring states or events elsewhere in the Global South is not sustainable. The Iran Page instead imagines Iran beyond the demarcations of the nation-state, forging connections between Iran and Iranians, and the manifold peoples and political formations featured elsewhere on Jadaliyya’s platform. As an essential first step to doing so, the page delineates imperialism’s effects on a political formation never formally colonized or transformed into a protectorate, but nevertheless subject to constant and often violent encroachments from outside its borders. Iranians themselves have regularly contemplated their social conditions in relation to transnational political struggles, including anti-colonialism and pan-regional movements and aspirations.
We encourage original content that sets agendas for new research, education and pedagogy, art and literature. We welcome critical and empirically informed research on Iran and its people, those living in Iran and those scattered around the globe—from the burning issues of the day to more oblique preoccupations, which nevertheless provide a distinct lens through which to understand the country. We welcome submissions that propose new approaches and styles of thinking about Iran, marrying lucidity and rigor with a preparedness to transgress disciplinary boundaries in productive and provocative ways.
Submissions should be written in a style accessible to a general educated readership and relatively free of academese and jargon. The pieces on this page aim to straddle the line between scholarly research and critical interventions, the pedagogic and the political, the aesthetic and the everyday, cutting through indefensible preconceptions and shibboleths. They should be written in a manner that does not presume an inordinate amount of preexisting knowledge, and prove of interest to both the novice and the professional scholar of Iran alike. Email submissions to Iran@Jadaliyya.com.
To inaugurate the Iran Page, its co-editors are pleased to present the following articles, interviews, and resources:
"Jadaliyya Launches New Iran Page" by Iran Page Editors
"Covering Race and Rebellion" by Naveed Mansoori
"The Systemic Problem of 'Iran Expertise' in Washington" by Negar Razavi
Extended Iran Media Roundup
New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) Interviews
Houri Berberian, Roving Revolutionaries: Armenians and the Connected Revolutions in the Russian, Iranian, and Ottoman Worlds
Nile Green, The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca
Narges Bajoghli, Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic
Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, Revolution and its Discontents: Political Thought and Reform in Iran
Golbarg Rekabtalaei, Iranian Cosmopolitanism: A Cinematic History
Peyman Vahabzadeh, A Rebel’s Journey: Mostafa Sho‘aiyan and Revolutionary Theory in Iran
Engaging Books Series: Cambridge University Press Selections on Cosmopolitanism and Political Reform in Iran
Jadaliyya Talks: Arash Davari and Sina Rahmani on "Divorce, Iran-America Style"
"Essential Readings: Post-Revolutionary Iran" by Arang Keshavarzian