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In a 2016 survey of Iranian Studies specialists working at American universities and colleges, not one claimed to be “very satisfied” with the state of field. While that result may be surprising, more surprising still is that those sentiments co-exist with the undeniable reality that Iranian Studies has never had a larger number of participants, representing a more diverse set of disciplinary approaches, than it does today. I will explore part of this dynamic by discussing two projects that have taken me far away from my original research comfort zone: first, the survey of Iranian American Iran-Specialists that alerted me to the sentiments of my colleagues in the academy, and, second, my efforts around the Michigan Iranian American Oral History Project. In both cases, these projects have created new lines of inquiry that I simply did not anticipate when I initially embarked on them. What the projects have in common is that they take the Iranian Diaspora as a point of departure for rethinking Iranian history and culture, and, shift the dominant mode of research from single-authored monographs to collaborative team research projects that can lead to a broader array of academic activity.
Dr. Camron Michael Amin is the History Discipline Representative, Coordinator of the Middle East Studies Certificate Program, and CASL Representative to the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects Governing Board at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He also serves as the Principal Investigator for the Michigan Iranian American Oral History Project and Program Chair for the 2018 Association for Iranian Studies Conference.
Co-sponsored by the Department of History
Monday, April 15 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Patton Hall (RLP), 1.302E
305 23RD ST E, Austin, Texas 78712