Tehrangeles dreaming : intimacy and imagination in Southern California's Iranian pop music / Farzaneh Hemmasi.

Hemmasi, Farzaneh, 1975- [Browse]
  • Durham : Duke University Press, 2020.
  • ©2020
1 online resource (xiv, 245 pages)


Summary note
"Tehrangeles, a name that combines Tehran and Los Angeles, is the home of an extensive Iranian expatriate culture industry. The music and popular culture created in Tehrangeles is broadcast by satellite television around the globe and has been immensely popular in Iran and throughout the Iranian diaspora. In Tehrangeles Dreaming, Farzaneh Hemmasi traces the sources of the music's popularity, showing the ways it is unquestionably Iranian yet able to express ideas and affects not possible within the country itself. The attachment to homeland comes through the Iranian rhythms, but the music frequently features female solo singers or dancers, which are forbidden within the Iranian state. At the same time the music is associated with stereotypes of rich emigres and Southern California, and thus dismissed by others. The music is unabashedly pop and generally apolitical, which Hemmasi shows to be the source of its politics. The introduction sets up the argument and tells the story of the growth of the industry and the Los Angeles Iranian community in the context of post-revolutionary Iran. Chapter 2 describes the origins of Tehrangeles dance pop and its use of the six/eight time signature, a traditional Iranian dance rhythm long-associated with intimacy. Hemmasi argues that the practices and attitudes around six/eight time establish a sense of common sociality among cultural insiders but are also a sometime source of embarrassment. Chapter 3 focuses on expatriate narratives of Iranian popular music history. Hemmasi provides three views on the history of Iranian popular music prior to the revolution from four men involved with the music business since the 1950s and 1960s. Chapter 4 is about homeland, and the desire to return to the homeland of Iran through music and the reinvention of culture. Cultural producers in Tehrangeles operate within multiple moral, legal, and transnational regimes that they often only partially predict or comprehend. Chapters 5 and 6 focus on two expatriate musical celebrities who have claimed to reach and represent the nation from afar: Googoosh, who is a popular female singer; and Dariush Eghbali, who is an activist whose music and media exist in the space between political and personal transformation. The book concludes with a chapter on the changes that have occurred in Iran since the Iranian Revolution and the establishment of expatriate industries in Southern California, affirming the dreaming space of music, creation, and negotiation of both expatriates and people living in Iran. This book will be of interest to scholars in ethnomusicology, transnational media studies, Middle Eastern studies, and cultural studies"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Source of description
Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on April 17, 2020).
  • Introduction
  • The Capital of 6/8
  • Iranian popular music and history: Views from Tehrangeles
  • Expatriate erotics, homeland moralities
  • Iran as a singing woman
  • A nation in recovery
  • Conclusion: Forty years.
  • 9781478012009 (electronic book)
  • 1478012005 (electronic book)
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