Iran and the Middle East

With attention to the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran in 1976, Herbert Bodman argues that Wilfred Thesiger’s 1959 travel narrative  Arabian Sands–which the Oxford Companion to English Literature calls “a solemn epitaph for traditional Arabia”–is a call for a nuanced and humanistic understanding of the Arabian Peninsula and the complex relationships between Islam and everyday Iranian political and cultural life.

At the time of this interview, Bodman was professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a leader of the summer institute for North Carolina citizens, “Voyages of Discovery: On the Literature of Travel and Exploration,”  held at the National Humanities Center in 1980.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.


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