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Making history in Iran : education, nationalism, and print by Farzin Vejdani

By Farzin Vejdani

Iranian background was once lengthy informed via quite a few tales and legend, tribal lore and genealogies, and stories of the prophets. yet within the overdue 19th century, new associations emerged to supply and circulation a coherent heritage that essentially reshaped those fragmented narratives and dynastic storylines. Farzin Vejdani investigates this variation to teach how cultural associations and a starting to be public-sphere affected history-writing, and the way in flip this writing outlined Iranian nationalism. Interactions among the country and a cross-section of Iranian society—scholars, schoolteachers, scholars, intellectuals, feminists, and poets—were an important in shaping a brand new knowing of country and history.

This enlightening e-book attracts on formerly unexamined fundamental sources—including histories, institution curricula, pedagogical fabrics, periodicals, and memoirs—to exhibit how the social destinations of historians writ extensively inspired their interpretations of the previous. The relative autonomy of those historians had an instantaneous touching on no matter if historical past upheld the established order or grew to become an device for radical swap, and the writing of heritage grew to become vital to debates on social and political reform, the function of girls in society, and the factors for citizenship and nationality. eventually, this publication strains how contending visions of Iranian background have been more and more unified as a centralized Iranian nation emerged within the early 20th century.

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He therefore commissioned translations of their biographies into Ottoman Turkish as models for his own reformist enterprise. 20 Qajar court translations shared with earlier Muslim court efforts the patronclient relationship and the goal of legitimizing the dynasty. The adoption of print technology and the formation of new institutions for the translation and writing of history signaled novel instrumentalizations of the past through the search for exemplary models of top-down state modernization.

As patronage became more autonomous from the court, translators wrote less for kings and more for a reading public seeking analogies to their own political situation. ”59 In Iran, changes in patronage impacted the historiographical “system”: by the constitutional era (1906–1911), translators were less concerned with providing top-down models for modernizing kings and instead focused on providing the reading public with strategies for making sense of the revolution. 60 Constitutional-era translations looked to the histories of three broad geographical regions: Western Europe, the Islamic Middle East (especially the Ottoman Empire), and East Asia.

Teams of scholars in both the “host” and “recipient” languages collaboratively translated the texts. Drawing on the Chinese imperial model, the Ilkhanids established an institution for the writing of history that in part comprised a group of translators. 15 When Muslim rulers aimed at winning the loyalty of their non-Muslim subjects, translation could function as a gesture of imperial goodwill. 17 By the early nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire and Egypt pioneered translation movements through modern institutions linked to emerging print Patronage, Translation, and the Printing of History 21 technologies.

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