Culture and Cultural Politics Under Reza Shah presents a collection of innovative research on the interaction of culture and politics accompanying the vigorous modernization programme of the first Pahlavi ruler. Examining a broad spectrum of this multifaceted interaction it makes an important contribution to the cultural history of the 1920s and 1930s in Iran, when, under the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi, dramatic changes took place inside Iranian society. With special reference to the practical implementation of specific reform endeavours, the various contributions critically analyze different facets of the relationship between cultural politics, individual reformers and the everyday life of modernist Iranians.
Interpreting culture in its broadest sense, this book brings together contributions from different disciplines such as literary history, social history, ethnomusicology, art history, and Middle Eastern politics. In this way, it combines for the first time the cultural history of Iran’s modernity with the politics of the Reza Shah period.
Challenging a limited understanding of authoritarian rule under Reza Shah, this book is a useful contribution to existing literature for students and scholars of Middle Eastern History, Iranian History and Iranian Culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Bianca Devos & Chrstoph Werner Part I: Intellectuals and Technocrats: Key Figures in Iran’s Cultural Modernization 1 Modernization in Literary History: Malek al-Sho’ara Bahar’s Stylistics – Rozxanne Haag-Higuchi 2 Christl Catanzaro:Policy or Puzzle? The Foundation of the University of Tehran between Ideal Conception and Pragmatic Realization – Christl Catanzaro 3 Mir Mehdi Varzandeh and the Introduction of Modern Physical Education in Iran – H.E. Chehabi 4 Modernization of Iranian Music During the Reign of Reza Shah – Keivan Aghamohseni 5 The King’s White Walls: Modernism and Bourgeois Architecture – Talinn Grigor Part II: The Shah: State Politics and Authoritarian Modernization 6 Archaeology and the Iranian National Museum: Qajar and Early Pahlavi Cultural Policies – Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam 7 Depicting Power: Reza Shah’s Rule, Cabinet Politics and the Commemorative Stamp Set of 1935 – Roman Siebertz 8 Press Censorship in the Reza Shah era, 1925-1941 – Karim Soleimani Part III: Life Under Reza Shah: New Bourgeois Culture and other Forms of Practiced Modernity 9 Drama and Operetta at the "Red Lion and Sun": Theatre in Tabriz 1927-41 10 "Newly Hatched Chickens": Bozorg 'Alavi on the Young Literary Scene of the 1930s – Roja Dehdarian 11 Giving Birth to a New Generation: Midwifery in the Public Health System of the Reza Shah Era – Elham Malekzadeh 12 Engineering a Modern Society? Adoptions of New Technologies in Early Pahlavi Iran 13 Religious Aspects in Communication processes in Early Pahlavi Iran – Katja Follmer
Dr Bianca Devos is Assistant Professor at the Center for Near and Middle East Studies at the University of Marburg (Germany). Her main fields of research are Iran’s modern history, particularly the press and early modern entrepreneurship, and literary history.
Professor Christoph Werner holds the chair of Iranian Studies at the Center for Near and Middle East Studies at the University of Marburg (Germany). His main fields of interest are Qajar history, vaqf studies, and modern Persian literature.