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27 OCTOBER 2005

Diagnosing Iranian History in Terms of European Past

"Europe has been constituted as the horizon of expectation for the Iranian passage to modernity. Thus European history, as the future past of the desired present, has functioned as a normative scenario for the prognosis or forecasting of future Iran. This anticipatory modernity introduced a form of historical thinking that diagnosed Iranian history in terms of the European past. By universalising that past, historical deviations from the European norm have been mis–recognised as abnormalities. Thence, the development of feudalism, capitalism, the bourgeoisie, the proletariat, democracy, freedom, scientific rationality, and industry in the 'well–ordered' Europe have informed the diagnoses of their lack, absence, retardation, and underdevelopment in Iran.[33] In other words, alternative non–European historical processes have been characterised as the absence of change and as historical history."

(Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi pp.263 - 291)


acculturation • affinity of languages • bordered history • coevalness • decolonising • detemporalising • European • forgotten texts • heterotopia • historical imagination • homeless texts • Iranmodernity • Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi • nationalismnon-contemporaneityOccidentalismorientalism • Persianate modernity • reactivation • schizochronic • self-refashioning • universalising

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