I’m teaching a course at BU for the first time–and it’s been an amazing experience being with these students under these circumstances. I’m still teaching full-time at MIT, but very much enjoying teaching an additional course at BU–despite the heavy workload.
The course focuses on modern Iran.
My interview with Jadaliyya on my book–Excerpt: “While the book is based on my PhD dissertation, it is very much autobiographical—even though I am not directly present in the book. There are a few footnotes that include some relevant family history, but I do not speak in the first person beyond a disclaimer in the introduction. This is probably true of many Iranians who grew up in the United States and write about Iran; it is a history that not only shapes us but has followed us here. As such, much of what I have written and taught, even as an undergraduate when I student-ran a course on modern Iran at UC Berkeley, is rooted in the Iranian Revolution. That is precisely why this history is fascinating; these roots not only ground us but they have shaped our past, present, and future—and that is how the Green Uprising came to my attention. It harnessed the history, symbols, and dominant ideology of the Iranian Revolution to contest the outcome of that very revolution, the Islamic Republic.”
My quote in The Independent: “Bolton is gone now. But Pompeo is still Secretary of State and he still wants war and regime change, not diplomacy and negotiation. Pompeo pushed Trump to approve the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, which brought the two countries to the brink of war. And if Trump wants to negotiate with Iran, he needs a top diplomat who is onboard.
‘Pompeo is a major obstacle. He doesn’t want talks, doesn’t want a new agreement, and was a main force behind the assassination of Soleimani, but he’s not the only obstacle to talks — just a big one,’ said Pouya Alimagham, a historian of the modern Middle East at MIT.”
Review by Daniel Larison at The American Conservative.
Excerpt: “Alimagham has done a fine job of understanding and explaining the ideas and motivations of Green movement activists largely on their own terms and using their own words. It is an important work of scholarship, and anyone that wants to understand modern Iran better would benefit from reading it. This study deepened and improved my own understanding of the modern political scene in Iran, and I think it will be a valuable reference work for a long time to come.”