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“The Iranian Revolution as a World Event” is a conference organized at the University of Amsterdam in order to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79, rightly considered as one of the most significant events of 20th century world history.

Firstly, the causes of the Iranian Revolution are deeply rooted in the domestic-international nexus embodied in uneven development, urbanization, migration, the oil crisis of 1973, the Cold War, etc. Secondly, the dynamics of the Iranian Revolution posed a serious challenge to prevalent perspectives on revolutions, (political) Islam, and modernity, giving rise to important subsequent debates on social theory. Thirdly, the consequences of the Revolution have gone far beyond political structures, impacting culture, everyday life, the arts and social relations. In a geographical sense, the Iranian Revolution had an intense impact on the region and the world, signaling amongst others the rise of Islamist movements, altering geopolitical relations, eliciting reactions from regional and global powers and political formations alike, creating diasporic transnationalism, and more.

This workshop seeks to reconsider the revolution’s causes, dynamics and consequences from local, national and transnational perspectives. It will consist of a public event with a keynote speaker and a number of sessions organized around the following core themes:

  • Global and Regional Dimensions of the Iranian Revolution;
  • The Subaltern and the Iranian Revolution (categories such as organized and unorganized women and workers, the unwaged, ethnic and religious minority communities, the secular and Islamic-oriented left, and anarchists, should be taken into consideration);
  • Intellectual Receptions of the Iranian Revolution.

The organizers welcome papers on any of these themes. The travel and hotel expenses of only a limited number of participants can be reimbursed due to limited financial resources, hence early applications are advised. Applicants are kindly requested to specify whether any travel assistance is available from their own institution.

Abstracts (300 words max.) should be sent before 23 July 2018 to The organizers (Artemy M. Kalinovsky and Peyman Jafari) will select the papers and communicate the results by the end of July.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include Touraj Atabaki (International Institute of Social History), Kaveh Ehsani (University of Illinois), Peyman Jafari (University of Amsterdam/International Institute of Social History), Artemy M. Kalinovsky (University of Amsterdam), Michiel Leezenberg (University of Amsterdam), Kamran Matin (University of Sussex), Norma Claire Moruzzi (University of Illinois), Naghmeh Sohrabi (Crown Center for Middle East Studies), Siavush Randjbar-Daemi (University of St. Andrews), Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi (University of Oxford), and Martin van Bruinessen (Utrecht University), Maaike Warnaar (Leiden University).

This conference is organized with the support of and in collaboration with Amsterdam School for Historical Studies (ASH), Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES), Amsterdam Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES), International Institute of Social History (IISH).