Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings
A Crown Seminar with Pouya Alimagham
The Green Movement protests in Iran after the 2009 presidential election are often described as a "failed revolution," and the Iranian state casts participants as "seditionists." In this talk, based on his recent book Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings, Pouya Alimagham will challenge this conventional win-lose binary interpretation of Iranian politics by examining how those activists coopted and subverted the ideology of the government to attack it. By appropriating and reprogramming the symbols and history of Shiite Islam, Palestinian liberation, and the Iranian Revolution, they challenged the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy at its very core. Although the Green Movement may have failed to cancel the presidential election results or bring down the state, Alimagham argues it succeeded in undermining the state’s ideological foundations and continuing a century-old legacy of democratic struggle in Iran.
Pouya Alimagham is a lecturer in the Department of History at MIT.
Hadi Kahalzadeh, discussant, is a doctoral fellow at the Crown Center and a PhD candidate in Social Policy at the Heller School.