CfP - Iranian Literary Modernity

Publish Date: Apr 27, 2015

Deadline: May 15, 2015

We are now accepting submissions for a special edition issue of Iran Nameh: A Journal of Iranian Studies we are co-editing on radical modes of re-thinking modern Persian literature as Iranian literary modernity, and which we later plan to convert to a book manuscript in 2016 after necessary adjustments and supplements are made.

The special edition issue will be invested with the logic to replace the study of modern Persian literature with the investigation of Iranian literary modernity. We construe the former as being remarkably susceptible to the ideological demand to trace literary works back to  contemporaneous political vicissitudes, the anachronistic overdeterminism of indigenous archaisms, the life and works genre, the well-defined chronological, monographic and descriptive (or positivist) analytical enterprise, or the gravitational pull of Western prototypes which incites the tendency to engage in strict comparativisms drawing on a priori binaries such as East-West, religious-secular, modern-traditional, etc.

As a work on Iranian literary modernity, what this special edition issue proposes is the illumination of the local without a fixation on antediluvian or prelapsarian purity and particularism. It aims to explore global or panoramic cross-cultural, cross-pollinating and interdisciplinary  trajectories  that  heed  the  functional  recalibration  and  distillation processes of localized modernities.

Broadly conceived, we are open to any innovative, creative and systematic proposal, but your contribution can mainly or peripherally centre around, though by no means be limited to, one of the following themes and questions:

  • What is the “modern” in modern Persian literature?
  • What is  literary  modernity  and  the  interplay  between  literary  and  political modernity? Do they belong to the same order of time? In other words, do literary and political modernity temporally coincide? Are they contemporaneous?
  • A re-evaluation of the established canon of modern Persian literature cognizant of the epistemic assumptions behind its establishment;
  • The extent to which--or whether at all--the rubrics “rupture” and “continuity”

intersect in the formation of Iranian literary modernity;

  • How do we historically situate the relationship between classical and  “New” poetry?  Are  “rupture”  and  “continuity”  the  only,  or  sufficient,  analytical categories in this endeavour?
  • How do we define Iranian literary modernity without deploying modern-ness as a pre-packaged, complete, autonomous, and well-established ontology?
  • What other  determinants  except  the  translation,  language  simplification,  or politically committed paradigms can we attribute to the formation of the Iranian novel?
  • How effective  are  posthumous  taxonomies  of  the  Iranian  novel  such  as “historical,”   “social,”   “committed,”   etc.   in   historicizing   Iranian   literary modernity?  How  are  these  “genres”  established  and  what  is  their  utility  as


analytical criteria for a historically grounded understanding of Iranian literary modernity?

  • Will the analytical inclusion of hierarchically disadvantaged and marginal(ized) authors nourish our understanding of literary modernity or would it be an exercise in redundancy?
  • What happens  when  notions  of  European  origin  are  conceived  in  a  literary capacity not so much as successful implants or deviations of the norm but as part of an indigenous system of re-stylization and idiosyncratic integration?

As we have envisioned it, the issue will consist of both Persian and English articles that depart from conventional approaches by offering radically innovative interventions in the field of literary criticism and history.

If you are interested in being a part of this important project, please make note of the following dates, and before anything else, we ask that you address both guest editors, Arshavez Mozafari and Hamid R. Yazdi ( and in all your correspondences.

  1. Each potential contributor should submit a 150 word bio., a working article title and a 300-500 word abstract by May 15, 2015
  2. We will respond to every submitter with a decision no later than May 30, 2015.
  3. We ask that rough drafts be submitted to us by October 30, 2015. Feedback will be provided by November 30, 2015 so as to ensure that the chapters are written in ways that contribute organically to the issue.
  4. Final drafts will be due on December 30, 2015. At this time, the final package will be submitted to Iran Nameh.

Besides these important dates, we ask that you kindly take into account the following crucial points:

  1. If your contribution strays from the theme of the project or does not meet the high standards of elite academic productions, we have the right to withdraw our invitation if drastic improvements are not made to the work. This also applies if you fail to meet the important deadlines stated above.
  2. Chapters should be somewhere between 6,000-8,000 words long, including endnotes. The style sheet for references will be provided to each contributor upon receipt of titles and abstracts.

We are hoping that you will strongly consider participating in this timely and worthwhile project. It will be our great pleasure to make this the start of many more fruitful and innovative collaborations to come.

Sincerely yours,

Hamid R. Yazdi (Ph.D., University of Toronto)

Arshavez Mozafari (Ph.D., University of Toronto)

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