Ali Fathollah-Nejad

The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement

European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015 –16). With new forewords by Amir-Hassan Cheheltan and Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

„Exactly 200 years after the publication of Goethe’s West–östlicher Divan (1819), Ali Fathollah-Nejad is inspired by the same cultural questions that had brought the preeminent German poet to the poetic feasts of his Iranian counterpart Hafez. Ali Fathollah-Nejad writes this groundbreaking book in English, in the critical space between his two other native languages: German and Persian.

His caring intellect and critical prose are precisely what we need in this age of nuclear nightmares. He is grounded in the geopolitics of that nightmare, but liberated in the visionary recitals of the same poetic possibilities that had turned Goethe to Hafez“
Hamid Dabashi (Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature Columbia University in New York)

The 2015 nuclear deal marked the beginning of a new chapter in relations between Europe and Iran. However, a qualitative and lasting improvement in relations between the two nations will fundamentally depend on other socially relevant sectors. Bearing this in mind, cultural policy in the wider sense will play a key role, since it is indispensable for a rapprochement.

This study aims to make a contribution in this area by exploring options for the revitalisation of cultural relations on various levels, taking as its starting point a comprehensive review of those relations. The study focuses on opportunities as well as challenges in European–Iranian cultural relations in the following three fields: (i) art, literature, theatre, music and street art; (ii) social sciences and the humanities; and (iii) involvement of various societal groups in Iran within a comprehensive approach.

The study’s key contribution lies in sketching out the wider framework within which cultural and academic exchange operates, of which international actors must be fully aware. This mainly but not exclusively concerns politico-ideological barriers (that may sometimes be open to negotiation) set up by the Islamic Republic of Iran that sensitively curtail the great diversity that exists across Iranian society. The study closes by offering a set of policy recommendations for international actors pertaining to cultural and academic exchange with Iran.

Weitere Informationen auf der Homepage des Autors.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad
The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement
European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015 –16)
WeltTrends, Potsdam 2020
ISBN 978-3-947802-29-6

64 Seiten

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