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Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran:…
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Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran: The Life and Legacy of a…

by Kamran Talattof

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081563224X, Hardcover)

In Iran, since the mid nineteenth century, one issue has been a common concern: how should Iran become modern? More than a century of struggle for or against modernity has constituted much of the social, political, and cultural history of the country. In the decades since the 1979 Revolution, the question has become even more critical. In Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran, Talattof finds that the process of modernity never truly unfolded, due in large part to Iran's reluctance to embrace the seminal subjects of gender and sexuality. Talattof's approach reflects a unique look at modernity as not only advances in industry and economy but also advances toward an open, intellectual discourse on sexuality.

Exploring the life and times of Shahrzad, a dancer, actress, filmmaker, and poet, Talattof illuminates the country's struggle with modernity and the ideological, traditional, and religious resistance against it. Born in 1946, she performed in several theater productions, became an acclaimed film star in the 1970s, and pursued a career as a journalist and poet. Following the revolution, she was imprisoned and eventually became homeless on the streets of Tehran. Her success and eventual decline as a female artist and entertainer illustrate the conflict between modernity and tradition and Iran's failure to embrace an overt expression of sexuality. Talattof also profiles several other female artists of the 1970s, analyzing their lives and work as windows through which to examine what Iranian culture allowed and what it repudiated.

A pioneering and timely work, Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran explores the integral role of popular culture and female artists in the shaping of modern Iran, laying down a new approach in understanding such crucial concepts as ideology and modernity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:06 -0400)

For more than a century Iran's social, political, and cultural history has been defined by a struggle toward or away from modernity. In this book Talatoff makes a compelling argument that, despite revolutionary upheaval, the ideals of modernity remain remote due to the absence of a modern notion of sexuality. He illustrates his assertion through the life of Shahrzad, a celebrated stage and screen actress, dancer, journalist, and published poet who eventually became imprisoned and later homeless in the streets of Tehran. Tracing her career along with other pre-revolutionary women artists, Talatoff explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, media, and modernity in Iran.… (more)

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