Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings

Submitted by Rick Aguilar on

Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2023, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m



"Book Talk: Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings"

Most observers of Iran viewed the Green Uprisings of 2009 as a 'failed revolution', with many Iranians and those in neighboring Arab countries agreeing. In Contesting the Iranian Revolution, however, Pouya Alimagham re-examines this evaluation, deconstructing the conventional win-lose binary interpretations in a way which underscores the subtle but important victories on the ground, and reveals how Iran's modern history imbues those triumphs with consequential meaning. Focusing on the men and women who made this dynamic history, and who exist at the centre of these contentious politics, this 'history from below' brings to the fore the post-Islamist discursive assault on the government's symbols of legitimation. From powerful symbols rooted in Shiʿite Islam, Palestinian liberation, and the Iranian Revolution, Alimagham harnesses the wider history of Iran and the Middle East to highlight how activists contested the Islamic Republic's legitimacy to its very core.

Dr. Pouya Alimagham is a historian of the modern Middle East and Iran at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His book, Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. The book and his other publications focus on such themes as revolutionary movements, the Arab Spring, Shi'ism, sectarianism, US foreign policy, and women and gender. In 2018, he received MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Levitan Teaching Award.