Abbas Amanat: Calendar, Memory and Reconstruction of Iranian Modern Identity

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On March 11, 2022, the Iran 1400 Project spoke with esteemed historian Dr. Abbas Amanat about his forthcoming book in Persian titled Historiography and Reconstruction of Iranian Identity. From Islamic holidays to Nowruz, to declarations of loyalty, Dr. Amanat explained how timekeeping was used as a tool by the state to organize Iranian society. He relayed how the formation of calendars and the internal debate on which calendar to use in Iran showed the current mood of Iranian society. He also demonstrated how debates on timekeeping consistently reflected the internal rifts in the state. In addition to the presentation of part of his forthcoming book, this episode includes a stimulating Q&A session with Dr. Amanat. He addresses a variety of questions, from how timekeeping today reflects on Iran as an Islamic society to the effect of timekeeping on Iranian identity in the past and present.

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