The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Non-GC Events

10/14 – “The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid” screening and panel discussion

The documentary The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid (Ali Mirsepassi & Hamed Yousefi, 2015) explores the life and thought of Iranian philosopher Ahmad Fardid in his intellectual crusade to halt rising western influence in Iran. The self-proclaimed philosophical spokesperson for the Islamic Republic, Fardid constructed a “mystical” and “spiritual” political philosophy that undertook to deliver Iran from the culturally “debasing” and spiritually “dehumanizing” experience of Iranian modernity. Under the conspicuous influence of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, Fardid called for the recovery of modern Iran to its Islamic roots, a project fueled by his concept of Ghabzadegi (“Westoxification”)— which would quickly become a buzzword in the Iranian critique of the modern, secular West. The film features extensive interviews with Fardid’s former colleagues, associates, students, as well as scholars of modern Iran, and uses rare and previously inaccessible footage of Fardid’s debates featured on Iranian television. More broadly, the film presents a comprehensive intellectual history of modern Iran, from the post-Constitutional (1906) to the post-Islamic Revolutionary periods, through a figure whose obscure philosophical path remains largely absent from prevailing conceptions of the rise of political Islam.

Screening followed by a panel discussion with:

Ali Mirsepassi, Professor, Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Studies, NYU Gallatin
Richard Wolin, Distinguished Professor, History, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Andrew Arato, Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor of Political and Social Theory, The New School
Asef Bayat, Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, Sociology, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champagne)


Date + Time Oct 14, 2015 | 6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Location The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Category Urban Democracy Lab
Open to Public? yes