Emile Bustani Seminar: "Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings"
Tuesday, October 06, 2020 at 4:30pmVirtual Event
Zoom Webinar ID: 917 5897 1523
Click here to watch the lecture on YouTube!
"Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings"
Lecturer in History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In Iran as elsewhere, politics is seen as a zero-sum game. As such, most observers of Iran viewed the Green Uprisings of 2009 against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election "win" as a 'failed revolution,' with many Iranians and those in neighboring Arab countries agreeing. The state even cast such challengers as "seditionists." Re-examining this evaluation by deconstructing the conventional win-lose binary interpretations, however, underscores the subtle but important victories on the ground. Pouya Alimagham's reseach demonstrates how Iran's modern history imbues those triumphs with consequential meaning by focusing on powerful symbols rooted in Shiʿite Islam, Palestinian liberation, and the Iranian Revolution to center the activists and highlight how they contested the Islamic Republic's legitimacy to its very core. They were indeed continuing a legacy of democratic struggle that has a genealogy that goes back more than a century.
Pouya Alimagham is a lecturer at MIT's History Department focusing on modern Iran and the wider Middle East. His PhD dissertation, on which his book Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings (Cambridge) is based, was the Association for Iranian Studies' winner of the Mehrdad Mashayekhi Dissertation Award. This year is his 5th year teaching at MIT and in 2019 he was the winner of the Levitan Teaching Award.