• The Iranian Perception of Europe During the Early Decades of the Nineteenth Century

      Talattof, Kamran; Ebrahimian, Mojtaba; Noorani, Yaseen; Betteridge, Anne; Raval, Suresh (The University of Arizona., 2020)
      Up until the turn of the nineteenth century, the Iranian knowledge of Europe was very limited. Iranians considered Western Europe with the generic term, “Farangistan,” equated Farangistan with the lands of Christendom, regarded Russians as uncouth people of Asia, and harbored stereotypical images of Europeans for centuries. However, with the intensification of European presence in Asia, mainly due to the colonial rivalries of France, England, and Russia, Iranians began to pay renewed and earnest attention to European countries. The present dissertation, "The Iranian Perception of Europe during the Early Decades of the Nineteenth Century" examines the nature of the Iranians' “discovery” of Europe during the early nineteenth century. By close analysis of five prominent early-nineteenth-century Persian travelogues of Europe, it demonstrates that even as the Iranians assumed and accepted the superiority of European military technology, mode of government, and educational system, they did not have a favorable approach to European gender relations and religious practices when they intensified their attention to Europe. Thus, it argues that, during the early nineteenth century, the Iranian perception of Europe was pragmatic yet ambivalent, and that this ambivalence can explain why the Iranian court did not endorse full-scale European-style military, administrative, political, and educational reforms in this period.