Talinn Grigor on cosmopolitanism in Modernist Iranian architecture
Talinn Grigor, who is currently on leave from UC Davis as a Visiting Fellow of the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at Princeton University, will discuss “Cosmopolitanism of Modernist Architects in Reza Shah’s Iran” at Princeton University.
Talinn’s talk began with a simple question: why, given the staunchly nationalist environment of Reza Shah’s reign, did so many of the leading Iranian architects, come from religious minorities? Or rather, how come so many young professionals from Christian, Baha’i, Jewish, and Zoroastrian communities chose the field of architecture as their careers and succeeded in designing so much of Iran’s modernist urban environment? The talk proposes that Reza Shah’s push for modernization created an inadvertent affirmative action nation, from within which professional architects from the margins of a minority – and as pioneers of modernity and cosmopolitanism – rose to the challenge of building the secular nation.
Monday, February 7
Louis Simpson, Room A71