From Autonomous Techno-Organism to Divine Instrument of the State: On the Demonology of Modern Iranian Material Culture and Technology, 1850-1941

Arshavez Mozafari

Abstract


If demonic technologies are viewed by poets not from the perspective of technophobic morality or conservatism, which argues for the preservation of bodily integrity and natural existence against such forces, but in terms of their so-called “pathetic quality” of desiring integration with the world, the outline of the present study can be sufficiently decoded. To put it differently, while the utilization of technology can, from one perspective, pose a threat to the demonism of nature insofar as the demonic is in this case connected to natural portentiousness, mystery and creativity, what the following will reveal is how modern Iranian material culture and technology went through a peculiar conceptual journey that witnessed inchoate and untamed demonic techno-organisms becoming assimilated into the secular nationalist religion of the state...

 


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