Northwestern Events Calendar


Film Screening & Discussion: The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid

When: Thursday, February 20, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CT

Where: Block Museum of Art, Mary and Leigh, 40 Arts Circle Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and open to the public!

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Co-Sponsor: Block Museum of Art
Philosophy Co-Sponsored Events
Department of Art History
Critical Theory

Category: Fine Arts, Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


Please join us for this FREE screening of the documentary film The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid (Ali Mirsepassi & Hamed Yousefi, 2015, digital, 85 min, in English and Farsi with English subtitles), followed by a discussion with the director and others.

The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid explores Iranian philosopher Ahmad Fardid's 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 influence of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, Fardid called for Iran to return 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, and 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.

Post-screening discussion with:

Hamed Yousefi (director of The Fabulous Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid and a doctoral student in the Department of Art History and the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern)
W. J. T. Mitchell (Editor of the journal Critical Inquiry and Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago with appointments in the Department of English, Art History, and Visual Arts)
Hannah Feldman (Associate Professor of Art History and core faculty member in the Middle East and North African Studies and Comparative Literary Studies programs at Northwestern)
The discussion will be moderated by Danny Postel, Assistant Director of the Center for International & Area Studies at Northwestern.

This program is made possible by the Iranian-American Fund for Cultural Programming.


Critical Theory Program
Department of Philosophy
Department of Art History
Center for Global Culture & Communication
Middle East & North African Studies Program

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