Mittwoch, 18. Januar 2023, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Ringvorlesung Turkologie 2022/23 WS

The Press in the 19th and 20th centuries: From Central Asia to Anatolia via Crimea and the Caucasus

12.10.2022 - 25.01.2023 | Wednesdays 18.30 - 20.00 CET | Zoom - Online



Journalism between Politics and Literature: Tehran’s famous newspaper Shafaq-e Sorkh in the 1920s

Bianca Devos (Marburg University)


Shafaq-e Sorkh was one of Iran’s most popular newspapers during the 1920s. It earned a reputation for high-quality articles, but also for actively engaging in the heated political debates of the time. Moreover, with an illustrious group of intellectuals and literati contributing regularly to the paper, it participated in a general debate on modernity in Iran.

While particularly Shafaq-e Sorkh’s involvement in the political discourse has been recognized, this presentation will also highlight the cultural dimension of the paper. It will consider this newspaper in the broader context of Iran’s press history and investigate its role in the light of an emerging modern, professional journalism in the years following Reza Shah’s accession to the throne. By examining non-political parts of Shafaq-e Sorkh, especially during the first years of its publication, this presentation will also shed light on the paper’s function as a forum for literary and—in the broadest sense—cultural debates of the 1920s.


Bianca Devos is a professor of Iranian Studies at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Marburg (Germany). Her research focuses on the cultural history of modern Iran. Her book on the professionalization and commercialization of the press in early Pahlavi Iran was published in 2012 (Presse und Unternehmertum in Iran. Die Tageszeitung Iṭṭilāʿāt in der frühen Pahlavī-Zeit). Together with Christoph Werner she has co-edited the volume Culture and Cultural Politics Under Reza Shah. The Pahlavi State, New Bourgeoisie and the Creation of a Modern Society in Iran (London 2014).

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Institut für Orientalistik


Ayse Dilsiz Hartmuth
Institut für Orientalistik