This essay, whose title makes reference to Gil Scott-Heron's famous song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” addresses several components of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, meaning the revolution as an event in its singularity, the revolution as experienced by the subjects who participated in it or to whom the revolution happened, and the effects that the event of revolution have produced in subjects who participated in it. I argue that the emergence of a militant Islamist movement did not have much to do with the return of Islam as an incarnation of a fixed traditions opposed to modernity, but was rather a by-product of modernity and postmodernity. I also argue that in the context of the Iranian Revolution, technologies of vision as well as gender performance (including veiling, militancy, and appearance) proved central to the formation of a modern gendered citizen-subject and its mobilization in pre- and postrevolutionary Iran. In reflecting on the effects of the revolution, I make a case for the triadic mapping of death, revolt, and sexuality, arguing that the relationships between the body, power, and knowledge, in the politics of both life and death, intersect with sexuality in the ways in which subjects are made and enabled to constitute and transform themselves as subjects of desire. This has perhaps been the most enduring effect of the Iranian Revolution for gender and women's issues both in Iran and in the Iranian diaspora.
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Behrooz Ghamari-Tabirzi Mansour Bonakdarian Nasrin Rahimeh Ahmad Sadri Ervand Abrahamian
Minoo Moallem; The Revolution Will Not Be Fabricated. Radical History Review 1 January 2009; 2009 (105): 123–131. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-2009-008
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