Theses Doctoral

“The Clarity of Meaning”: Contemporary Iranian Art and the Cosmopolitan Ethics of Reading in Art History

Torshizi, Foad

This dissertation traces the substantial expansion of Western interest in contemporary Iranian art over the past two decades. In reading Iranian artifacts, it argues that Western disciplinary frames, most specifically art history and criticism, circumscribe the heterogeneity of Iranian contemporary art. Submitted to Western frames of legibility, the multivalent aesthetic properties of contemporary Iranian art is reduced to readily consumable social, political, and ethical messages. Burdened by the need to speak for Iranian society as a whole, the diverse aesthetic economies of Iranian artifacts are curtailed and reconfigured so that they align with Euro–American understandings of meaning, value, aspiration, and desire.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Thesis Advisors
Dabashi, Hamid
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 30, 2017