Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism

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University of Chicago Press, Jul 15, 2010 - Political Science - 312 pages
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In 1978, as the protests against the Shah of Iran reached their zenith, philosopher Michel Foucault was working as a special correspondent for Corriere della Sera and le Nouvel Observateur. During his little-known stint as a journalist, Foucault traveled to Iran, met with leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini, and wrote a series of articles on the revolution. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution is the first book-length analysis of these essays on Iran, the majority of which have never before appeared in English. Accompanying the analysis are annotated translations of the Iran writings in their entirety and the at times blistering responses from such contemporaneous critics as Middle East scholar Maxime Rodinson as well as comments on the revolution by feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

In this important and controversial account, Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson illuminate Foucault's support of the Islamist movement. They also show how Foucault's experiences in Iran contributed to a turning point in his thought, influencing his ideas on the Enlightenment, homosexuality, and his search for political spirituality. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution informs current discussion on the divisions that have reemerged among Western intellectuals over the response to radical Islamism after September 11. Foucault's provocative writings are thus essential for understanding the history and the future of the West's relationship with Iran and, more generally, to political Islam. In their examination of these journalistic pieces, Afary and Anderson offer a surprising glimpse into the mind of a celebrated thinker.

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Review: Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism

User Review  - TunÁ - Goodreads

You wonder, why on earth a French philosopher would ever support the Iranian revolution. This book takes a deep look into the sate of mind Foucault was in at the time and why he supported the ... Read full review

Review: Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism

User Review  - Anna - Goodreads

I had a few layers of reactions to this book. First off, a lot of this is incredibly interesting. The chapter “Processions, Passion Plays, and Rites of Penance” explores Foucault's fascination with ... Read full review


The Visits to Iran and the Controversies with
Debating the Outcome of the Revolution
Foucault Gender and Male Homosexualities
From the Iranian Revolution to September 11 2001
Foucault and His Critics an Annotated Translation

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About the author (2010)

Janet Afary is associate professor of history and women's studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, and current president of the International Society for Iranian Studies. Kevin B. Anderson is associate professor of political science and sociology at Purdue University and the author of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism.

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