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Constructing the Axis of evil: Iran Memoirs in the Land of the Free

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Abstract:

Ever since the Revolution in Iran the corporate media in the United States has persistently described Iran in a very negative light. For well over a quarter of a century, the American public has been repeatedly "informed" that almost all aspects of life in Iran are tainted with fear, hardship, and brutality. An image of a totalitarian state supported by barbaric extremists who both coerce internal opposition and seek global domination is one that many Americans are well acquainted with.
After the Revolution a number of memoirs have been published by both Iranians as well as foreigners who have spent time in the country. These memoirs supposedly present the reader with the "real" Iran, as they present a complex society that is not easily found in news reports from the country. However, despite their claims to authenticity, it seems that in almost all of these texts, the Iran that has been constructed falls well within the domain of dominant discursive practices on Iran in American society. Therefore, even though many of the authors have show an enormous amount of ignorance regarding the country and some have been extraordinary dishonest in their accounts of contemporary Iranian life and history, they are viewed by the mainstream media as well as "experts" as revealing the essence of Iran. The aim of this paper is to critique some of the more recent and well known memoirs and to reveal the disturbing Orientalism existing in these texts.
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MLA Citation:

Marandi, Seyed Mohammad. "Constructing the Axis of evil: Iran Memoirs in the Land of the Free" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The American Studies Association, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Oct 11, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182775_index.html>

APA Citation:

Marandi, S. , 2007-10-11 "Constructing the Axis of evil: Iran Memoirs in the Land of the Free" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The American Studies Association, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182775_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Ever since the Revolution in Iran the corporate media in the United States has persistently described Iran in a very negative light. For well over a quarter of a century, the American public has been repeatedly "informed" that almost all aspects of life in Iran are tainted with fear, hardship, and brutality. An image of a totalitarian state supported by barbaric extremists who both coerce internal opposition and seek global domination is one that many Americans are well acquainted with.
After the Revolution a number of memoirs have been published by both Iranians as well as foreigners who have spent time in the country. These memoirs supposedly present the reader with the "real" Iran, as they present a complex society that is not easily found in news reports from the country. However, despite their claims to authenticity, it seems that in almost all of these texts, the Iran that has been constructed falls well within the domain of dominant discursive practices on Iran in American society. Therefore, even though many of the authors have show an enormous amount of ignorance regarding the country and some have been extraordinary dishonest in their accounts of contemporary Iranian life and history, they are viewed by the mainstream media as well as "experts" as revealing the essence of Iran. The aim of this paper is to critique some of the more recent and well known memoirs and to reveal the disturbing Orientalism existing in these texts.

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