The French Connection: Henri Corbin and Iran, Islam, Philosophy and Revolution
There’s no denying that Henri Corbin was an important part of Iranian history and Western philosophy and yet nothing has been written about his role in the pedagogy of the Iranian revolutionaries who were to bring about the Iranian Revolution or what he referred to as a “shadow of evil.” My project while at the IFK is to research and write on Corbin’s revolutionary legacy.
Roxanne Varzi holds a Ph.D. in Social Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. She was the recipient of the first Fulbright fellowship to Iran since the Revolution and was the youngest Distinguished Senior Iranian Visiting Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Her film “Plastic Flowers Never Die” (2009) is distributed by Documentary Educational Resources and has been shown in festivals all over the world. Her most recent work, an art-sound installation, opened at Soundwalk in Long Beach in October 2011 and was shown in Berlin in December 2011.
Selected publications: Iran’s French Revolution: Religion, Philosophy, and Crowds, in: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 637.1, 2011, p. 53-63; Warring Souls: Media, Martyrdom and Youth in Post-Revolution Iran, Durham 2006.
Going back to the 1950s, 60s, and 70s to explore the work and life of one important French orientalist through the writing of his biography, Roxanne Varzi will explore how Shiite Islam came into play with postcolonial and postmodern theories to bring about the Islamic Revolution. Could this explain why, 30 years later, Islam continues to provide a framework for protest among those disillusioned by the Islamic Republic?