Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Rewriting Women into the Iran-Iraq War Narrative

The Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality Presents: Shaherzad Ahmadi Ph.D. Student History Department

Fri, January 31, 2014 | GAR 1.102

12:00 PM

The Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) produced an industry to commemorate martyrdom by utilizing every form of media – both visual and textual – to propagandize. While the state now hopes these reminders will impress upon young people the Islamic and political values of the last generation, there has been little research on the transformation of the war culture and its legacy.  In her workshop, Shaherzad Ahmadi will examine visual and material culture including city murals, films, as well as female memoirs published by the Department of the Literature and Arts of the Resistance that capture these transformations in the generational discourse. By challenging the prevailing image of fanatical warriors and subverting gender hierarchies in the hyper masculine space of war, the state oversees (and participates in) the attempt to portray the reality of warfare rather than a religious romance modeled on the Battle of Karbala. The state thus allows young people to create new terms for the discourse on war and martyrdom in order to give the distant trauma relevance to a generation with radically different values.

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