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Human Rights Guerrillas: Iran in the Long 1970s

Arash Davari, Whitman College; Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies

March 4, 2020 · 12:00 pm-1:20 pm · A71 Louis A. Simpson Building

Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies
Standing over the crowd during a major pro-Khomeini demonstration, a Khomeini supporter becomes a photographic display of atrocities committed by the Army and SAVAK. Tehran, Iran, January 1979.

This lecture describes a shift in Iranian revolutionary activism that began in the late 1960s, apparent in unlikely parallels between then-emergent strategies in guerrilla warfare and human rights advocacy. These developments reflected patterns in global history. But they were not derivative reflections. Circumstances specific to Iran inspired new forms of symbolic activism, bridging hastily presumed divides between insurrectionary violence and liberalism. Revisiting these archives adds to a burgeoning historiography about the long 1970s.

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