By Rasmus Christian Elling, University of Copenhagen.
The Iranian Revolution, most historians argue, was an urban phenomenon in which mass demonstrations in major cities led to the spectacular downfall of the shah in 1979. In addition to Ayatollah Khomeini’s politicized Shiite-Islamic discourse, it is further argued, popular revolutionary resolve was prefigured specifically by Marxist urban guerrillas. But what was urban about these guerrillas?
In trying to answer this question, I recently contributed to a new edited volume on Global 1979: Geographies and Histories of the Iranian Revolution. In this blogpost, I will recap the main arguments of that chapter and then demonstrate why this research matters for global urban history. Briefly put, I believe expanding urban analysis beyond the Euro-American sphere to places like Iran can help us understand global relativity in terms of simultaneity rather than only through transnational movement, circulation or traveling theory.Continue reading