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Pourdavoud Center/Amuzegar Lecture Series: Afshin Marashi
The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran
This book talk will provide an overview of Exile and the Nation: The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran (University of Texas Press, 2020). In the aftermath of the 7th century Islamic conquest of Iran, large numbers of Zoroastrians departed for India. Known as the Parsis, they slowly lost contact with their ancestral homeland until the 19th century, when stream-powered sea travel and the philanthropic efforts of wealthy Parsi benefactors sparked a new era of interaction between Parsis and Iranians. Tracing the late 19th and early 20th century cultural and intellectual exchange between Iranian nationalists and India’s Parsi community, Exile and the Nation shows how this interchange led to a collective re-imagining of Parsi and Iranian national identity and to the revival of antiquity in 20th century Iran thought.
About the Speaker
Afshin Marashi is Professor and Farzaneh Family Chair in Modern Iranian History at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author most recently of Exile and the Nation: The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran (University of Texas Press, 2020). His previous books include Nationalizing Iran: Culture, Power, and the State, 1870-1940 (University of Washington Press, 2008), and the volume (co-edited with Kamran Aghaie) Rethinking Iranian Nationalism and Modernity (University of Texas Press, 2014). He has also served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and on the council of the Association for Iranian Studies.