Skip to navigation – Site map

HomeAbstracta IranicaVolume 234. Histoire, Période Musulmane4.2. Histoire du XVe au XIXe siècle4.2.1. Safavides et Qâjârs« Modernity, Heterotopia, and Hom...

172
Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi

« Modernity, Heterotopia, and Homeless Texts ». Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 18, 2 (1998), pp. 2-16.

Book review by Rudi Matthee

Full text

1Informed by the theories of Foucault and brimming with the terminology of postcolonialism, this article explores the notion of heterotopias, civilization’s alternative real spaces, counter-sites, loci of alterity. In modern times most of the world has seen the West as its heterotopia. It wasn’t always like that, the author contends; as late as the 18th century, Montesquieu and Samuel Johnson found their heterotopias in Abyssinia and Iran. And for good reason! Before the global dominance of the West created binary oppositions and firm borders, before the European Enlightenment robbed the non-West of its history, Indo-Persia produced a vast body of literary and historiographical texts
– texts that subsequently became homeless. The author is certainly right to state that since the erection of modern borders and boundaries the Indo-Persian cultural tradition has become somewhat orphaned, though the argument that these texts have become elided from the history of Iranian and Indian modernity is simply exaggerated. His discussion of supposed paragons of Indo-Persian modernity ironically mostly covers those versed in astronomy, the pursuit of which was less a token of modernity than an integral part of the Islamic scientific tradition.

Top of page

References

Electronic reference

Rudi Matthee. Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, « « Modernity, Heterotopia, and Homeless Texts ». Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 18, 2 (1998), pp. 2-16. », Abstracta Iranica [Online], Volume 23 | 2002, document 172, Online since 08 February 2010, connection on 17 January 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/35439 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.35439

Top of page

Copyright

Tous droits réservés

Top of page
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search