Enemy Images and Iraqi Ba'thist Nationalism: Anti-Persian Discourse in Historical Narrative Construction
AuthorJeffries, Tyler H.
Committee ChairHudson, Leila
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, the Iraqi Baʿth party engaged in the production of historical narrative, which defined the party's ideal of Iraqi nationality and statehood, while promoting the legitimacy of its military efforts. Public intellectuals played an important role in the manufacture of such historical narrative. This thesis examines two works produced in the service of this project, Al-Ṣirāʿal-ʿIrāqiyy Fārisiyy, or "The Iraqi-Persian Conflict," and Tārīkh al-Munāzaʿāt wa-l-Ḥurūb Bayn al-ʿIrāq waʾĪrān, or "The History of the Conflicts and Wars Between Iraq and Iran." It will be demonstrated that these works reflected, and rarified a wartime nationalist discourse permeating the public sphere, in which an ideal of Iraqi nationality and statehood was defined through the demonization of an essentialist Persian other. Pre-Islamic and medieval Islamic history was employed to emphasize episodes of violence and cultural conflict between Iraqis and Iranians, in doing so illustrating the characteristics of both peoples. Iraqi nationality was defined as embodying superlative qualities of governance, military prowess, cultural achievement, and religiosity. Iraqi nationhood was defined and elevated in contrast to an opposite, malicious Persian nationality, rooted in anti-Arab hostility and characterized by inferiority in piety, culture, leadership, and warfare. Direct parallels existed between this nationalist narrative, and public sphere expressions of Baʿthist nationalist discourse, such as government statements, school textbooks, and monument construction.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Near Eastern Studies