Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Enemy images and Iraqi Ba'thist nationalism: Anti-Persian discourse in historical narrative construction
by Jeffries, Tyler, M.A., The University of Arizona, 2015, 116; 1589252
Abstract (Summary)

During the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, the Iraqi Ba'th party engaged in the production of historical narrative, which defined the party’s ideal of Iraqi nationality and statehood, while promoting the legitimacy of its military efforts. Public intellectuals played an important role in the manufacture of such historical narrative. This thesis examines two works produced in the service of this project, Al-Sira' al-'Ir aqiyy Farisiyy, or “The Iraqi-Persian Conflict,” and Tarikh al-Munaza 'at wa-l-Hur ub Bayn al-'Iraq wa 'Ir an, or “The History of the Conflicts and Wars Between Iraq and Iran.” It will be demonstrated that these works reflected, and rarified a wartime nationalist discourse permeating the public sphere, in which an ideal of Iraqi nationality and statehood was defined through the demonization of an essentialist Persian other. Pre-Islamic and medieval Islamic history was employed to emphasize episodes of violence and cultural conflict between Iraqis and Iranians, in doing so illustrating the characteristics of both peoples. Iraqi nationality was defined as embodying superlative qualities of governance, military prowess, cultural achievement, and religiosity. Iraqi nationhood was defined and elevated in contrast to an opposite, malicious Persian nationality, rooted in anti-Arab hostility and characterized by inferiority in piety, culture, leadership, and warfare.

Direct parallels existed between this nationalist narrative, and public sphere expressions of Ba?thist nationalist discourse, such as government statements, school textbooks, and monument construction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hudson, Leila
Commitee: Lucas, Scott C., Nassar, Maha
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Near Eastern Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle Eastern history, Middle Eastern Studies, Near Eastern Studies
Keywords: Baʿth, Iran, Iraq, Nationalism, Persian, Propaganda
Publication Number: 1589252
ISBN: 978-1-321-76515-1
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