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Travel and Identity: Cross-Cultural Representations in Safavid Travel Texts (1505-1741)

Ala Amjadi, Maryam (2017) Travel and Identity: Cross-Cultural Representations in Safavid Travel Texts (1505-1741). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, Universidade do Porto. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.63876) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:63876)

Language: English

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This thesis is primarily centered on the textual analysis of ten Persian travel narratives composed during the Safavid age (1501-1736), when Shiite Islam emerged as the official religion of Iran, or more precisely, during what I define as the discursive Safavid period, which begins in 1505, a few years after the establishment of the Safavid rule, and ends in 1741, nearly a decade after their decline and eventual fall. I explore Safavid travel writing in the context of other literary texts, as well as jurisprudential treatises that were produced for the purpose of officially delineating the tenets of the newly established religion. The largely theo-political shift that demarcated the Perso-Shiite identity, from, predominantly, the Sunni and non-Iranian Other, contributed to the realignment of Iran's literary and cultural landscapes. In this light, the thesis investigates the portrayal of the Safavid Persian/Iranian Shiite identity in Persian travel narratives through the intersections of gender, travel practices that shape individual and communal sense of autonomy, homeland and sense of belonging, and poetry, as the creative expression of the language of self-reference and self-inscription. The immediate focus of this study is to inform and challenge notions of Iranian-ness and Shiite-ness, past and present, through exploring Iran's history of alternative methods of cultural production, creative expression and diverse definitions of mobility, and the Safavids' relationship to identity construction and formation in the trajectory of contacts and encounters with non-Iranians.

By exploring complex relationships between mobility and identity in the ten Safavid Persian travel narratives, five of which were composed in verse, what this thesis hopes to accomplish is an exercise in rethinking Iranian identity, that is not so much defined in terms of or against Western paradigms of Iranian-ness, but rather in terms of Iranian travel culture and the history of self-inscriptions and selfhood.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Landry, Donna
Thesis advisor: Bastos da Silva, Jorge
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.63876
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 13/08/21
Uncontrolled keywords: Iran, Safavid, Shiite, Travel, Identity, Poetry, Travel Rituals, Gender, Early Modern, Hajj, Travel Narrative, Iranian Culture, Travel Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: [UNSPECIFIED] Erasmus Mundus Programme
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 13:49 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2021 13:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Ala Amjadi, Maryam.

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