Date(s) - 03/07/19
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

University Book Store


This event is FREE and open to the public and is presented by the UW Department of Near Eastern Languages in conjunction with the Persian and Iranian Studies Program at the University of Washington and the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies. .

The 2019 Afrassiabi Distinguished Lecture in Persian and Iranian Studies with Lior Sternfeld, Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Penn State University

In the early 20th century, the Iranian Jewish communities were largely disenfranchised, marginalized, and impoverished. About 80 percent belonged to the lowest social and economic classes, 10 percent were part of the emerging middle class, and 10 percent counted among the countrys elites. By the 1979 revolution, that situation had changed. 10 percent were impoverished, 80 percent belonged to the middle classes, and 10 percent remained in the elite. By the 1979 revolution, Jews played a role in every Iranian political camp: as supporters of the monarchy or the revolutionary movements. This talk analyzes the institutional history of the Jewish communities in Iran—and the pivotal role they played in facilitating integration and other social developments. The examples to be discussed will help us understand how Irans Jews adjusted to a rapidly changing post-revolutionary society, especially in light of the regional conflict between their respective spiritual and national homelands, Israel and Iran.

Lior Sternfeld is an assistant professor of history and Jewish studies at Penn State University. He is a social historian of the modern Middle East with particular interests in the histories of Jews and other minorities of the region. His first book, titled Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran, examines, against the backdrop of Iranian nationalism, Zionism and constitutionalism, the development and integration of Irans Jewish communities into the nation-building projects of the last century. Dr. Sternfeld completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin. His current research project examines the origins of Third-Worldism in the Middle East.

Lior B. Sternfeld is Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Penn State.