Cambridge University will soon publish an analytical-historic book, ‘Both Eastern and Western’ by Iranian Professor of the California State University Afshin Matin-Asgari on the history of Iranian intellectualism According to correspondent quoting from Cambridge University Press, since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many Western observers of Iran have seen the country caught between Eastern history and ‹Western› modernity, between religion and secularity. As a result, analysis of political philosophy preceding the Revolution has become subsumed by this narrative.
Here, Afshin Matin-Asgari proposes a revisionist work of intellectual history, challenging many of the dominant paradigms in Iranian and Middle Eastern historiography and offering a new narration. In charting the intellectual construction of Iranian modernity during the twentieth century, Matin-Asgari focuses on broad patterns of influential ideas and their relation to each other. These intellectual trends are studied in a global historical context, leading to the assertion that Iranian modernity has been sustained by at least a century of intense intellectual interaction with global ideologies. Turning many prevailing narratives on their heads, the author concludes that modern Iran can be seen as, culturally and intellectually, both Eastern and Western. Afshin Matin-Asgari (Ph.D.) who has won the Outstanding Professor Award, 2015, was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to the U.S. after high school. In 1993, Matin-Asgari received a doctoral degree in Middle East history from UCLA. His dissertation was published in 2001 as the book, ‘Iranian Student Opposition to the Shah’. At Cal State LA, he teaches courses in Middle East history, world history, Islam, and comparative religion. Matin-Asgari has published 20 articles and book chapters.