Allahverdi, Amir (2022). Persia in the Trans-Atlantic Context: From Nineteenth-Century British Imperial Literature to American Transcendental Embrace. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

Persia in the Trans-Atlantic Context by Amir Allahverdi .pdf

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Persia in the Trans-Atlantic Context: From Nineteenth-Century British Imperial Literature to American Transcendental Embrace principally explores the battle over the “discursive formation” of Persia in the nineteenth century within a primarily intra-European “discourse,” first with an overt emphasis on English works, and then from a trans-Atlantic perspective. This dissertation offers an analysis of the pivotal The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan (1824) and tries to demonstrate how the emergence of this book in the Imperial Century introduced a novel and politically-charged image of the Qajar Persia, altering the aesthetic, historical, literary, mystical and generally civilizational perceptions of Persia that dominated the Western “discursive” reservoir during the previous centuries. Contextualizing this work and many other secondary sources within the very elaborate networks of imperial strife, intrigues and alliances, I argue that the entity of Persia does not emerge as homogenously as expected, while certain modes of “dis-course” within the intra-European setting inhibits the realization of the British imperial “discursive” policy vis-à-vis the dwindling Imperial State of Iran. I then show how these alternative “discourses,” with their deep roots in Germanophone intellectual circles, try to challenge and decenter the “discourse” that emerged from the British imperial enterprise with regard to the Sublime State of Persia, as its geo-political “Other.” I will then show how this sympathetic mode of German “Orientalism,” together with the British imperial “Orientalism,” trickled across to the other side of the Atlantic and paved the way for the same battle in the New World over the same entity. I contend that the aesthetically and philosophically-charged modes of “discourse,” however, could find a more fertile ground in the nineteenth-century New World, where, for instance, a figure like Ralph Waldo Emerson, the distinguished transcendentalist philosopher and poet, tried to introduce and appropriate many tenets of pre-Islamic and Islamic Persia for his own intellectual purposes. This has been shown through a close reading of Emerson’s “Oriental” endeavors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Translated abstract:
Dieses Projekt untersucht hauptsächlich den Kampf um die „diskursive Formation“ Persiens im 19. Jahrhundert. Diese Dissertation bietet eine umfassende Analyse des sehr wichtigen pikaresker Roman The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan (1824). Es versucht auch zu zeigen, wie die Entstehung dieses Buches im imperialen Jahrhundert ein neues und politisches Bild des Kadschar-Persiens eingeführt hat. Anschließend wird gezeigt, wie dieses Buch die ästhetischen, historischen, literarischen, mystischen und allgemein zivilisatorischen Wahrnehmungen Persiens veränderte, die in den vergangenen Jahrhunderten das westliche „diskursive“ Reservoir dominierten. Durch die Analyse dieses Werkes und vieler anderer Werke aus dem gleichen Zeitabschnitt wird argumentiert, dass die „diskursive Formation“ Persiens im Westen nicht so homogen erscheint wie erwartet. Ein Großteil dieser Dissertation analysiert den diskursiven Kampf um Persien im transatlantischen Kontext.German
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Allahverdi, Amiramir.allahverdi@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-546298
Date: 12 January 2022
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 6: Geschichte > Abteilung für Nordamerikanische Geschichte
Subjects: Generalities, Science
Christian theology
Other and comparative religions
Political science
Italic Latin
Other languages
Public performances
Geography and history
History of ancient world
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Postcolonial theoryEnglish
United StatesEnglish
United KingdomEnglish
New HistoricismEnglish
Discourse StudiesEnglish
Qajar PersiaEnglish
Ralph Waldo EmersonEnglish
Imperial literatureEnglish
Persian LiteratureEnglish
Persian PoetryEnglish
American missionaryEnglish
Nineteenth CenturyEnglish
British DiplomacyEnglish
Edward SaidEnglish
Michel FoucaultEnglish
US-Iran relationsUNSPECIFIED
UK-Iran relationsUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 29 January 2021
NameAcademic Title
Finzsch, NorbertProf. Dr.
Berressem, HanjoProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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