Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, "Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment" (U Minnesota Press, 2016)


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.

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SherAli Tareen

SherAli Tareen is Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His second book is called Perilous Intimacies: Debating Hindu-Muslim Friendship after Empire (Columbia University Press, 2023). His other academic publications are available here. Listener feedback is most welcome.

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