Re-membering Jalal Al-E Ahmad and His Intimate Circle: The Possibility of Rupture and Reinforcement in the Hegemonic Masculinity of the Pahlavi Era
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMy research examines the impacts of Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Simin Daneshvar and a selection of theirintimate intellectual circle on the hegemonic masculinity of their era as it approached the “unthinkable” Iranian Revolution of 1979. Given that Al-e Ahmad became so profoundly influential as it relates to the emergence of the post-revolutionary Perso-Islamic identity, my dissertation focuses primarily on Al-e Ahmad’s life, letters and literary work. More specifically, I am interested in examining the gender practices among this selection of Pahlavi-era Iranian intellectuals in their personal lives and their literary works. Since the reconfiguration of gender practice is influenced by multiple actors in both state and civil society, my analysis utilizes a Gramscian framework of cultural change which carefully explores the significant role that intellectuals can play in the continuous renegotiations of gender practices. After establishing a working structure of Iranian hegemonic masculinity in the Pahlavi Era, Ioffer six areas of inquiry. Chapter 1 gives a brief overview of the 19th-20th century intellectuals in modern Iran and locates Al-e Ahmad in that context. Chapter 2 establishes the framework for hegemonic masculinity during the Pahlavi Era by examining the driving forces of Iran’s reconfigurations of hegemonic masculinity including the state and religious patriarchy as well as the Iranian women’s rights movement. Chapter 3 focuses on how Al-e Ahmad's relationship to Daneshvar challenged and reinforced hegemonic masculinity. Chapter 4 explores a selection of Al-e Ahmad’s short stories in the context of violence and injustice under religious and state patriarchy. Chapter 5 delves into Al-e Ahmad’s Westoxification as it relates to hegemonic masculinity and silence. Chapter 6 examines Al-e Ahmad, sex, sexuality and gendered renegotiations in the context of religiosity, secularism, and the unfulfilled rupture of sexual taboos. This research concludes by noting that while Al-e Ahmad and his intimate circle reinforced hegemonic masculinity, if we are to look at gendered performativity as something that needs repeated performance, these disruptions - however unintentional or fleeting - bring us one step closer toward a sustainable rupture of hegemonic masculinities.
Degree ProgramGraduate College