"Engaging a variety of primary source materials—including literature, photographs, and Iranian historical sources—and connecting them with recent scholarship on gender and colonial modernity, Unveiling Men offers a useful articulation of the genesis of modern Iranian masculinity. A valuable resource for those interested in Middle East history, Iranian studies, modernity and colonialism, and gender. Highly recommended."—Choice
"Unveiling Men is a much-needed, risk-taking book that begins an essential conversation in the study of masculinity in Iran."—Iranian Studies
"DeSouza's Unveiling Men is a welcome addition to the relatively understudied field of masculinity studies and the history of masculinity in Iran and the Middle East."—International Journal of Middle East Studies
For years, Iranian academics, writers, and scholars have equated national development and progress with the reform of men’s sexual behavior. Modern intellectuals repudiated native sexuality in Iran, just as their European counterparts in France and Germany did, arguing that transforming male identity was essential to the recovery of the nation.
DeSouza offers an alternate narrative of modern Iranian masculinity as an attempt to redraw social hierarchies among men. Moving beyond rigid portrayals of Islamic patriarchy and female oppression, she analyzes debates about manhood and maleness in early twentieth-century Iran, particularly around questions of race and sexuality. DeSouza presents the larger implications of Pahlavi hegemonic masculinity in creating racialized male subjects and “productive” sexualities. In addition, she explores a cross-pollination with Europe, identifying how the “East” shaped visions of European male identity.
Wendy DeSouza is PARSA CF visiting lecturer in Iranian studies in the Middle East and South Asia Studies Program at University of California, Davis.
6 x 9, 208 pages, 6 black and white illustrations