Shahrzad and the 1953 Coup in Iran

“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake,” wrote James Joyce in Ulysses. The US-sponsored Coup of 1953 is such an event: a “nightmare” in Iranian contemporary history. It is widely depicted as a rupture in the modern history of Iran. It is also a Pandora’s box filled with contested narratives. The proliferation of narratives on the coup in recent years clearly shows that it is time for Iranians to awake from “this nightmare,” especially as the Nuclear Deal signals a new phase in Iran-US relations. The following discusses in what sense and to what ends Shahrzad, the most popular Iranian television series of the last year, has contributed to this “awakening.”

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