Purdue University Graduate School
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The Picturesque Domestication of Iran for an American Counter-Modern Retreat

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posted on 2019-10-16, 19:57 authored by Benjamin W LagaBenjamin W Laga

This thesis examines one of the most fraught and distorted relationships—the association between the United States and Iran. Contemporarily, most scholars and professionals associated with this connection evaluate the relationship in terms of politics, religion, power, and national security. Far fewer, however, evaluate it from its roots—the cultures, relationships, and dependencies that ultimately produced the prickly relationship of these two countries today. This thesis utilizes American authored travel narratives from 1921- 1941, written primarily by recreational travelers, to contradict American contemporary and paternalistic views of the relationship with Iran. This thesis posits that a nascent and unsure America depended on a pre-modern Iran to ease her into an impending modern existence.


Degree Type

  • Master of Arts


  • Comparative Literature

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Beate Allert

Additional Committee Member 2

Stacy Holden

Additional Committee Member 3

Charles Ross

Additional Committee Member 4

Ahmed Idrissi Alami

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