Seeing Red, Hearing the Revolution: The Multi-Sensory Appeal of Shuresh
Author: Neda Bolourchi
Editor: M. Mehdi Khorrami and Amir Moosavi
Compiler: Losing Our Minds, Coming to Our Senses Sensory Readings of Persian Literature and Culture
Date of Publication: Summer 2021
Publishing Company: Leiden University Press
Brief Description: In "Seeing Red, Hearing the Revolution," Neda Bolourchi argues that the infamous Shuresh newspaper, published in Iran from 1951-53, should be seriously considered by scholars in the fields of literature, history, and anthropology to understand more deeply some of the societal emotions and actions of this pivotal period. Shuresh was published during Iran’s oil nationalization crisis and the premiership of Mohamad Mossadeq. Rather than see Shuresh as unprofessional or illegal, the text should be understood for its ability to engage multiple literacies and multiple religious communities across the political spectra in Iran. Shuresh was able to do so by engaging the senses of sight and sound. Bolourchi shows how the appeal to these senses not only helped Shuresh generate consumers of its pages but also helped foment and deepen emotional ties to Iran as a nation-state. By increasing the depth and breadth of these emotional bonds to Iran, Shuresh hoped to change the course of national history. No revolution for Prime Minister Mossadeq or against the imperial British-feudal Iranian relationship, the desired outcomes of Shuresh, would succeed without the riots and revolts of most Iranians. In trying to shape history, Shuresh contributed to the transformative discourse on Iran as a sacred and generated more co-religionists of the Iranian nation-state. "Seeing Red, Hearing the Revolution'' shows the importance of Shuresh not just for the content of its ideas but also through its deployment of sensory aesthetics that enabled its broad spectrum of readers to relate to those ideas on different levels.