Dust That Never Settled: Afterlives of the Iran-Iraq War in Arabic and Persian Literatures


ACLS Fellowship Program




This book project is the first comparative study of the massive literary output of the Iran-Iraq War—the longest two-state war of the twentieth century—in both Arabic and Persian. In bringing together these two literatures, it argues for the expansion of modern comparative literary studies across the two languages based on common experiences of war and writing under authoritarian regimes. The book focuses on prose fiction to demonstrate how Iraqi and Iranian writers have wrestled with the brutal reality of the war and its politically contentious legacy from 1980 until today. In doing so, “Dust That Never Settled” argues that writers from both countries have transformed literatures that were once entirely militarized and sponsored by warring governments into literatures of loss, mourning and resistance.