Foucault in Iran
Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment
University of Minnesota Press 2016
New Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Islamic StudiesNew Books in Middle Eastern StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network November 6, 2016 SherAli Tareen
How did the preeminent theorist and philosopher Michel Foucault experience and observe the Iranian revolution? How did he find the revolution disruptive of a teleological notion of history? And how did the Iranian revolution impact and shape Foucault’s thought? These are among the questions addressed by Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi in his exciting new book Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). This book presents an intimate portrait of the events and conditions that led to the revolution, coupled with a fascinating account of Foucault’s engagement with that moment. Historically rich and theoretically nuanced, Foucault in Iran advances a scathing critique of previous works on this subject that charged Foucault with having endorsed Islamist violence by supporting the revolution. This book offers a more complicated reading of Foucault’s views on the revolution that disrupts binaries like secular/Islamist while also providing a riveting analysis on questions of time, history, and revolution.