Dabashi, Hamid 1951–

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Dabashi, Hamid 1951–

PERSONAL:

Born June 15, 1951, in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, Iran; married Golbarg Bashi (a professor). Education: University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., 1984.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department for Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Columbia University, New York, NY, currently Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature. Founder of Dreams of a Nation, a Palestinian Film Project. Advisor to various film companies; jury member for international film awards; media consultant on Middle East issues.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard University.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, annotator, and author of introduction, with Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr) Shiism: Doctrines, Thought, and Spirituality, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1988.

(Editor, annotator, and author of introduction, with Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr) Expectation of the Millennium: Shiism in History, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1989.

Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 1989.

(Editor) Parviz Sayyad, Parviz Sayyad's Theater of Diaspora: Two Plays, "The Ass" and "The Rex Cinema Trial," foreword by Peter Chelkowlski, Mazda Publishers (Costa Mesa, CA), 1993.

Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1993, 2nd edition, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2006.

(With Peter Chelkowski) Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Truth and Narrative: The Untimely Thoughts of Ayn al-Qudat al-Hamadhani, Curzon (Richmond, Surrey, England), 1999.

Onomadopean: Visite à Amir Parsa, Editions Caracterers (Paris, France), 2000.

Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future, Verso (New York, NY), 2001.

Shirin Neshat: La última palabra = The Last Word, MUSAC (León, Spain), 2005.

(Editor and author of introduction) Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema, preface by Edward Said, Verso (New York, NY), 2006.

Iran: A People Interrupted, New Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema, Mage Publishers (Washington, DC), 2007.

Also contributor of numerous articles to professional journals. Dabashi's works have been translated into Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, Danish, Arabic, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Urdu, and Catalan.

SIDELIGHTS:

Hamid Dabashi is an internationally recognized culture critic whose areas of expertise include Iranian studies, medieval and modern Islam, comparative literature, world cinema, and the philosophy of art. He has written widely on all these subjects, publishing numerous books and articles both in the United States and around the world. With his Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads, Dabashi looks to the historic role of Islam in a work at once "original, creative and insightful," according to John L. Esposito in the Journal of the American Oriental Society. Esposito further commented: "In this sociological study, Dabashi utilizes [pioneering sociologist Max] Weber's concept of charismatic authority to analyze the threefold (Sunni, Shii, and Khariji) socio-cultural responses to and transformation of Muhammad's authority and prophetic movement." Dabashi's study ranges from pre-Islamic Arab culture through the influence of Muhammad and to the consolidation of the first Muslim caliphate, the Umayyad dynasty of the seventh century. Esposito found this book a "significant addition to scholarship on the history and sociology of Islam,"

Dabashi's Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which he began in the early 1970s before the Iranian Revolution of 1979, focuses on many of the major Iranian personalities whose thoughts ultimately led to the revolution. Dabashi attempts to show that the revolution in Iran was the final outgrowth of and reaction to nineteenth-century colonialism. Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran, written with Peter Chelkowski, examines how those behind the Iranian Revolution used various media to establish their message both during the revolution and the war with Iraq in the 1980s. According to Daniel Pipes in the Middle East Quarterly, these media included "political speeches, print and electronic media, school books, movies, songs, poems, slogans, graffiti, murals, posters, banners, stamps, banknotes, coins, calendars, and even chewing-gum wrappers." The authors gather all these various propaganda measures within the covers of their book. "What a catalogue the authors have assembled of esthetic depravity and political falsification," noted Pipes. Daniel Brumberg, writing in the Political Science Quarterly, had further praise for the same title, declaring it an "extraordinary study."

Dabashi takes a more general look at his birthplace in the more recent Iran: A People Interrupted, in which he argues that Iran and its people are much more complex than the West, particularly the United States, believes. For Dabashi, Iran has been existing in the past and may continue to be a victim of colonialism. Despite its leadership that "flirts with fascism and seeks smoke screens of its own," as a Kirkus Reviews critic observed, it is a "democracy all the same, even if a flawed one." The same critic called the book "an eye-opening, if partial, consideration of a nation in need of understanding." A Publishers Weekly reviewer provided a mixed assessment of Iran, commenting that it is "peppered alternately with delightful vignettes from [Dabashi's] Iranian youth and dense academic-speak." For this same contributor the work is "unlikely to win over the uninitiated."

Dabashi is also the author of several works on Iranian cinema. His Close Up: Iranian Cinema Past, Present, and Future "places Iranian films into the broader context of the political and intellectual struggles that have characterized twentieth-century Iranian history," according to Cineaste reviewer Rahul Hamid. For Hamid, Close Up "provides much-needed historical, political, and artistic context as well as critical insight into Iranian cinema." Similarly, Dabashi's Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema "explores the development of Iranian cinema objectively and subjectively via the people who created it, without the need for restrictive answers," concluded Benjamin D. Malczewski in Library Journal.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July, 1994, Mehran Kamrava, review of Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, p. 185.

Choice, April, 1993, M. Swartz, review of Theology of Discontent, p. 1330; March, 2002, R.D. Sears, review of Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, and Future, p. 1247.

Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2006, Richard Byrne, "A Collision of Prose and Politics."

Cineaste, spring, 2002, Rahul Hamid, review of Close Up.

Contemporary Sociology, September, 1991, Serif Mardin, review of Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads, p. 733; September, 1994, Said Amir Arjomand, review of Theology of Discontent, p. 671.

Film Quarterly, summer, 2003, Azadeh Farahmand, review of Close Up.

Fuse Magazine, February, 2001, review of Close Up, p. 43.

International Journal of Middle East Studies, May, 1996, Ervand Abrahamian, review of Theology of Discontent, p. 299; May, 2002, Ali Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, review of Truth and Narrative: The Untimely Thoughts of Ayn al-Qudat al-Hamadhani, p. 375.

Journal of Asian History, spring, 1991, Victor Danner, review of Expectation of the Millennium: Shiism in History.

Journal of Religion, April, 1991, Michael Sells, review of Expectation of the Millennium, p. 298.

Journal of the American Oriental Society, January 1, 1993, John L. Esposito, review of Authority in Islam, p. 122.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2006, review of Iran: A People Interrupted, p. 1253.

Library Journal, April 1, 2007, Benjamin D. Malczewski, review of Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema, p. 93.

Medium Aevum, fall, 2000, Alan Jones, review of Truth and Narrative.

Middle East Journal, winter, 1992, review of Authority in Islam.

Middle East Quarterly, June, 2000, Daniel Pipes, review of Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran, p. 86.

Muslim World, July 1, 1989, Ismail K. Poonawala, review of Shiism: Doctrines, Thought, and Spirituality, p. 262; July 1, 1990, Jane I. Smith, review of Expectation of the Millennium, p. 282; April, 1991, Steven P. Blackburn, review of Authority in Islam, p. 168; January 1, 1995, Mahmood Monshipouri, review of Theology of Discontent, p. 156; July 2006, Joseph Lumbard, review of Truth and Narrative, p. 532.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2001, Daniel Brumberg, review of Staging a Revolution.

Publishers Weekly, January 8, 2007, review of Iran, p. 45.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2006, review of Theology of Discontent.

Sight and Sound, December, 2006, Ali Jaafar, review of Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema, p. 94; May, 2007, Sheila Whitaker, review of Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema, p. 100.

Sociological Analysis, spring, 1991, Robert Bianchi, review of Authority in Islam.

Times Higher Education Supplement, January 21, 1994, Dermot Clinch, review of Theology of Discontent, p. 18; July 5, 2002, "Iran Holds Up Its Mirror of Truths," p. 26.

World Politics, July, 1995, review of Theology of Discontent, p. 555.

ONLINE

Campus Watch,http://www.campus-watch.org/ (June 12, 2003), "Interview with Hamid Dabashi."

Columbia University Web site,http://www.columbia.edu/ (September 15, 2007), faculty profile of Hamid Dabashi.

Discoverthenetworks.org,http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/ (September 15, 2007), brief profile of Hamid Dabashi.

Hamid Dabashi Home Page,http://www.hamiddabashi.com (September 15, 2007).

Iranian.com,http://www.iranian.com/ (August 22, 2006), Peyvand Khorsandi, "Dabashi on Picnics."

ZNet,http://www.zmagazine.org/ (August 4, 2006), Foaad Khosmood, "Lolita and Beyond."