The Iranian Revolution as a World Event

Conference, December 13-14 2018, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marking the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79, the Amsterdam Initiative for Iranian Studies (AIIS) organises this conference to stimulate research on its causes, dynamics and global ramifications.

There is only a limited number of seats available, RSVP please:

Keynote lecture (public event)

Dr. Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi (Princeton University)
The Iranian Revolution and Its Detractors: “A Leap Into the Open Air of Historical Possibilities”
13 December, 17.00 - 19.00
The keynote lecture will be at a different venue: Spui25, Spui 25-27, Amsterdam

Please note that registration is required, see“a-leap-into-the-open-air-of-historical-possibilities”.html

Program and Panels

Thursday 13 December

9.00 Opening by Peyman Jafari and Artemy Kalinovsky

9.15  Welcoming words by Touraj Atabaki

9.30  The Iranian Revolution and International Politics

  • Maaike Warnaar (Leiden University)             
    The Iranian Revolution as seen from The Netherlands
  • Craig Daigle (City College of New York)
    The Iranian Revolution and the Making of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty

10.45  The International Left and the Iranian Revolution

  • Dmitry Asinovskiy (European University at St.Petersburg)
    Ideology and pragmatism in the early Soviet assessments of the revolution in Iran
  • Siavush Randjbar-Daemi (University of St. Andrews)
    Interested and Invested Observers: The Partito Comunista Italiano and the Iranian Revolution
  • Claudia Castiglioni (University of Milan)
    The European Intellectual Left and the Fall of the Shah
  • Jeremy Friedman (Harvard Business School
    Who lost Iran? Socialism and Islam in the Iranian Revolution

12.30 Lunch

13.15  Transnational networks and ideas 

  • Iman Lechkar (Free University of Brussels)
    The impact of Khomeini and Iranian revolution in Sunni conversion to Shia Islam
  • Simon Wolfgang Fuchs (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)
    How to Import a Revolution: Shiʿis, Islamists, and their Opponents in Pakistan
  • Philip O Hopkins (Russian-Armenian Univeristy/SOAS)
    American Missionaries’ Reflections of the Events Before, During, and After the Islamic Revolution
  • Manijeh Nasrabadi (Barnard College)
    Transnational Revolutionary Legacies: Iranian foreign students and the Third World left in the United States
  • Arash Davari (Whitman College)
    Tehran ’68: Collectivist States and Human Rights Guerrillas in the Long 1970s

17.00 - 19.00  Keynote lecture (see above)

Friday 14 December

9.15  Rethinking Revolutionary Islam

  • Sarah Marusek (University of Leeds)
    Islam and Revolution: A Critical Muslim Studies Approach
  • Leili Adibfar (University of Illinois)
    Ali Shariati; Islam, Modernity, and the Complicated Aesthetic of the Iranian Revolution
  • Mojtaba Mahdavi (University of Alberta)
    Public Religion and the 1979 Revolution: Did Progressive Muslims Pave the Way for the Hegemony of Khomeinism
  • Christopher Pooya Razavian (University of Birmingham) 
    Why did social justice become a central theme for Mottahari?

11.15  The Subaltern and the Iranian Revolution

  • Shirin Saeidi (University of Arkansas)
    Building Another Kind of World: Iranian Women and Spiritual Acts of Citizenship from 1980-88
  • Allan Hassaniyan (University of Exeter)
    The Iranian Popular Revolution (1978-79) and the Kurdish National Movement

12.30 Lunch 

(conference continues in room E102, Bushuis)

13.15  The Subaltern and the Iranian Revolution

  • Stella Morgana (Leiden University)
    Consolidating the Revolution in the Factory: The Islamic Republic’s Narratives on Labor in Posters and May Day Speeches
  • Touraj Atabaki (International Institute of Social History)
    Iran’s Marxist Left and Labour on the Eve of the Revolution
  • Negar Mottahedeh (Duke University)
    Falgoosh: Listening to the Revolution on Kate Millett’s cassette tapes

15.15 Making Sense of the Iranian Revolution

  • Naghmeh Sohrabi (Brandeis University)
    Rethinking the Iranian Revolution as a “World Event”
  • Peyman Jafari (University of Amsterdam/International Institute of Social History)
    Social Theory and the Iranian Revolution
  • Michiel Leezenberg (University of Amsterdam)
    Revolution as a World-Historical Category: Foucault's Iranian Writings Reconsidered
  • Kamran Matin (Sussex University)
    The Revolution Against Capital?: 1979 in International Perspective

17.00 Roundup


Conference organisers

Peyman Jafari (History Department, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam)
Artemy M. Kalinovsky (European Studies Department, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam)


This conference is organised with the support of and in collaboration with Amsterdam School for Historical Studies (ASH), Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES), Amsterdam Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES), International Institute of Social History (IISH).

Conference Venue (VOC room @ Bushuis UvA)

  • Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis

    Kloveniersburgwal 48 | 1012 CX Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 2258

Keynote lecture venue (Spui 25-27 Amsterdam)

  • Spui 25

    Spui 25-27 | 1012 WX Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 8142