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‘Cold Books in Hot Lands: Winning and Losing Hearts and Minds in the Middle East’
This online seminar will be presented by Esmaeil Haddadian-Moghaddam, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions research fellow at the Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands.
This event is free and open to all. Register for the event to access the Zoom link.
The various activities of the Franklin Book Programs, an American Cold War cultural diplomacy initiative for the development of indigenous publishing in the developing world and winning hearts and minds have been subject to public and academic query since its foundation in 1952. Reports and surveys of its activities, aims and objectives, and achievements have been featured in both American and non-American press, from The New York Times, Publishers Weekly to The Pakistan Observer and Al-Bilad. To exemplify the discourse, I present the story of how Franklin/New York convinced a young professor to put aside his paper but encouraged and supported the publication of another piece by a graduate student. Almost half a century later, I am asking the-now-retired-but-distinguished professor why did he oblige. This should shed some light on how Franklin/New York acted as a gatekeeper and promotor of a certain take on its operation.
Esmaeil Haddadian-Moghaddam is an independent researcher. He was until recently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions research fellow at Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands. His recent research has focused on the cultural Cold War with a focus on the activities of Franklin Book Programs in the Middle East (Coldbihot). He is the author of Literary Translation in Modern Iran: A Sociological Study (2014). He is also a managing editor of the Journal of World Literature.