Amir Moosavi

PhD Candidate, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, GSAS

Synopsis of Research in Shanghai (November 9 - December 18):

Moosavi’s dissertation, “Reimagining a War: Negotiating Ideology and Disenchantment in Literary Narratives of the Iran-Iraq War,” is the first study to comparatively treat the massive literary output of the Iran-Iraq War in both Arabic and Persian literatures. It sheds light on how Iraqi and Iranian writers have turned a genre of official literature that propagated state ideology into a literature of mourning and loss, and eventually, into a vehicle of protest. Moosavi creates a comparative framework for dealing with the Iran-Iraq war by juxtaposing the contemporaneous official war cultures of Iran and Iraq during the 1980s, highlighting the ways in which the Iraqi Ba‘thist Regime and the Islamic Republic of Iran sought to integrate the cultural spheres of each country into the state war machines. He then examines Iranian and Iraqi literary output in relation to the conflict in the postwar era, focusing on overlapping thematic concerns in both literatures, among them, representations of violence, battlefront death and martyrdom, literary disenchantment, and home front narratives written by women and veterans. Moosavi demonstrates how writers from these two countries, in the absence of an independent and critical historiography, have constructed counter-discourses to official state narratives of the war by employing analogous aesthetic techniques, such as fragmented and multivocal narratives, and the purposeful use of specific literary modes and forms that the official cultural establishment could not coopt.

Last Name
PhD Candidate, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, GSAS
Fellows Type
GRI Fellowship
GRI Fellows semester
Fall 2015