Northwestern Events Calendar


MENA | SESP | Education and the Cultural Cold War in the Middle East

When: Thursday, May 4, 2023
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1-515, 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Cost: free

Contact: Margaret Sagan  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

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


This book talk is co-presented by MENA and SESP.  Lunch will be served at the event.  The event is hybrid, and also available online.


Education and the Cultural Cold War in the Middle East.

The Franklin Book Programs (FBP) was a private not-for-profit US organization founded in 1952 during the Cold War and was subsidized by the United States' government agencies as well as private corporations.  The FBP was initially intended to promote US liberal values, combat Soviet influence and to create  appropriate markets for US books in the "Third World", but evolved into an international educational program.  In Iran, working closely with the Pahlavi regime, its activities included the development of printining, publishing, book distribution, and bookselling institutions.  Using archival sources, this book reveals the extend to which the program shaped Iran's educational system, shedding new light on the long history of education in imperialist social orders, in the context here of the ongoing struggle for influence in the Cold War.


Mahdi Ganjavi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University. His research focuses on the cultural Cold War, post-World War II transnational history of books, print, translation and education, politics of archives and historiography in the contemporary Middle East. 



Afshin Matin-Asgari is Professor of Middle East History at California State University, Los Angeles, and author of Both Eastern and Western: An Intellectual History of Modern Iran (2018), Iranian Student Opposition to the Shah: The Confederation of Iranian Students (2002), and more than two dozen articles and book chapters on twentieth-century Iranian political and intellectual history.  

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