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Lecture by Azra Ghandeharion (Ferdowsi University of Mashhad): "Postcolonial Adaption of American Literature in Iranian Cinema"

Jul 16, 2018 01:00 pm to 04:00 pm
Organiser: JRG Demographic Turn

The lecture will start with the film seeing from 1-2pm and her lecture a discussion from 2-4pm on Monday

Post 9/11 era brought the raise of Islamophobia and countless negative images of Muslims, especially the residents of the Middle East. Neo-Orientalist scholars believe that these stereotypes are not solely shaped by Western media. The Orient plays an active role in stabilizing this image labeled as “self-Orientalism”, a term popularized by Ali Behdad. ‘Self-Orientalizing’ reveals how the Orient visually represents itself as the West’s Other. The adaptation of an American canonical drama by an Iranian director can be a fertile ground for postcolonial adaptation studies. Asghar Farhadi, twice Cannes and Oscar winner, is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who represents post 9/11 Iran in international film festivals. His recent movie, The Salesman (2017) was the adaptation of an American canonical play, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1949). In countless interviews, Farhadi has claimed that his goal is to break the national, religious and racial stereotypes. This research aims to problematize Farhadi’s The Salesman and his claim benefiting from the theories of Neo-Orientalist critics, close scrutiny of the movie and the comments in Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritics. Though the artistic merits of the movie including the acting, setting, and cinematography are not undermined, this research shows how Farhadi’s effort in representing Muslims is overshadowed by stereotypical images of Iranian women and men. Film screening included. You can bring your lunch box with you.



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