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Violence and its Material Vestiges: The Martyr's Museum in Tehran

Violence and its Material Vestiges: The Martyr's Museum in Tehran
15 Kings College Circle, University College, UC140
Time: Nov 5th, 4:00 pm End: Nov 5th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: South Asian, Religion, Study of (FAS), Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), Islamic Studies, Information, Faculty of, 2000-, 1950-2000
Lecture by Christiane Gruber, University of Michigan

The John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures, Religious Materiality in the Indian Ocean World, and the Institute of Islamic Studies are pleased to present:

Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor of Islamic Art, University of Michigan

Violence and its Material Vestiges: The Martyrs' Museum in Tehran

The Central Martyrs' Museum in Tehran is the largest cultural repository in Iran containing personal artifacts and arts belonging to individuals who perished during the Islamic Revolution (1979) and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Although scholarship frequently considers the museum a secular invention of the Enlightenment, this presentation argues that it can also provide a ceremonial setting that prompts ritual activity. The Martyrs' Museum, as a case in point, reveals how a cultural institution can provide a dramatic field in which visitors engage in the communal acts of remembrance and mourning, thereby uniting them into a civic body. Based on an analysis of this museum, its layout and display objects, and interviews with its staff and visitors, this presentation explores the institutionalisation and aestheticization of trauma and violence in a post-revolutionary Islamo-Iranian context with the aim to expand and challence prevailing theoretical approaches to the concept of the "museum".

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required.  For further information, please contact the Sawyer Seminar organizers.

Download poster [pdf]


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