Jason Mohaghegh

Associate Professor

Academic Division: Arts & Humanities
781-239-4591

Bio

Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh teaches courses in comparative literature, Middle Eastern studies, world literature, and modern philosophy. He received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University, with an interest in global intersections of the avant-garde, existentialism, postcolonialism, and postmodernism. Professor Mohaghegh's scholarly focus is upon tracking emergent currents of experimental thought in the Middle East and the West, with particular attention to exploring the concepts of chaos, violence, illusion, silence, sectarianism, and apocalyptic writing. He has published six books to date—The Chaotic Imagination: New Literature and Philosophy of the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Inflictions: The Writing of Violence in the Middle East (Continuum, 2012), The Radical Unspoken: Silence in Middle Eastern and Western Thought (Routledge, 2013), Insurgent, Poet, Mystic, Sectarian: The Four Masks of an Eastern Postmodernism (SUNY, 2015); Born Upon the Dark Spear: Selected Poems of Ahmad Shamlu (translation; Contra Mundum, 2016); Elemental Disappearances (co-authored with Dejan Lukic; Punctum Books, 2016). ​ He is also the co-editor of a book series titled Suspensions: Contemporary Middle Eastern and Islamicate Thought (Bloomsbury), which is dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge movements in literature, philosophy, culture, and art across the region, and the co-director of the 5th Disappearance Lab. ​

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, Columbia University

Academic Interests

Comparative Literature; Modern Philosophy; Middle Eastern Studies

Courses

Degree Courses 2016-2017
  • LIT 4611: THE EAST AND THE WEST:WRITINGS OF TRESPA
  • LIT 4620: LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY OF MADNESS
    This course engages the question of madness from a variety of angles. On the one hand, it considers the major theorists of insanity (Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze); and on the other, it considers the equally crucial works of supposedly “insane” writers themselves (Antonin Artaud, Unica Zurn, Vaslav Nijinsky). In doing so, we will trouble the many definitions and assumptions surrounding the category of madness and its problematic history of oppression. Ultimately, through this remarkable exchange across literary-philosophical frontiers, we will explore an immense world of visions and symptoms, including those of mania, schizophrenia, delusion, paranoia, melancholia, and obsession.
Degree Courses 2015-2016
  • LVA 2036: CONTEMP WORLD LIT:WRITING OF THE UNREAL
    This course examines contemporary world literature through the specific prism of "the unreal." Writers from Latin America, the Caribbean, East Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East will be examined in their rich experiments with surrealism, anti-realism, hyper-realism, and irrealism. Moreover, this course will explore the enigmatic conceptual territories of the dream, the nightmare, the fantasy, the illusion, the hallucination, the mirage, the vision, and the simulation as breakaway zones of the global literary imagination. To achieve this task, we will evaluate authors as diverse as Haruki Murakami, Hassan Blasim, Clarice Lispector, Jose Saramago, Naguib Mahfouz, Kobo Abe, Juan Rulfo, and Reinaldo Arenas, interrogating their different approaches to the creation of phantasmtic, ethereal, and unknown spaces.
  • HUM 4630: EXTREMISM
    This course is committed to exploring “extremism” through the formation of dangerous sects: i.e. underground movements, secret societies, forbidden associations, cult gatherings, urban gangs, martial arts orders, outlawed artistic circles, rebel cadres, and terrorist units. We will use contemporary literary works from around the world to examine the way in which these hidden alliances experiment with ideas of concealment, seduction, strangeness, and sacrifice in order to create powerful countercurrents to everyday society. We will therefore also study the many forms that such outsider factions can take as they banish themselves and plan their hostile-ecstatic return to the surface: revolutionary, criminal, religious, mystical, magical, and avant-garde. Ultimately, this topic will allow us to penetrate one of the darker quarters of the human imagination in the modern age, following the extremist mind into its most subterranean possibilities, where a certain intense passion/hatred toward the world allows one to generate an alternative reality of the most excessive nature.
  • LVA 2016: VIOLENCE:THEORIES OF CRUELTY EVIL INHUMA
    This course investigates the idea of violence across an extensive spectrum of authors, texts, films, and literary-philosophical perspectives from the East and the West. We seek not merely to engage in a conventional critique but to exceed the boundaries of our understanding by seeking out violence as a form of fascination, power, beauty, and transformation. Topics will therefore include cruelty, vulnerability, power, betrayal, destruction, vengeance, anger, terror, defacement, pain, disaster, and inhumanity. From the poetics of torture to the writings of war, from theoretical works on catastrophe to cinematic/artistic pieces on the nature of evil, the intent is to explore the many narratives that have emerged across the global horizon in the face of an often violent experience of the modern world.

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Mohaghegh, J., Devji, F. (2014). Point of No Return: Extremism, Sectarian Violence, and the Militant Subject (A Dialogue Between Faisal Devji and Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh). Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World Review link

Books

  • Mohaghegh, J., Stone, L. (in press). Manifestos for World Thought: Rowman & Littlefield link
  • Mohaghegh, J.B., Lukic, D. (2016). Elemental Disappearances: Punctum Books link
  • Mohaghegh, J.B. (2016). Born Upon the Dark Spear: Selected Poems of Ahmad Shamlu: Contra Mundum Press link
  • Mohaghegh, J.B. (2015). Insurgent, Poet, Mystic, Sectarian: The Four Masks of an Eastern Postmodernism: State University of New York Press link
  • Mohaghegh, J.B. (2013). Silence in Middle Eastern and Western Thought: The Radical Unspoken. New York, NY: Routledge
  • Mohaghegh, J. (2012). The Writing of Violence in the Middle East: Inflictions: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Mohaghegh, J.B. (2010). The Chaotic Imagination: New Literature and Philosophy of the Middle East: Palgrave Macmillan link

Articles

  • Mohaghegh, J.B. (2015, May) "Omnicide: Movement of the Lost Cause"., pp. 10: Hyperion. link

Book Chapters

  • Mohaghegh, J. (in press). Colossomania: World Thought and the Return to Immensity. In Jason Mohaghegh and Lucian Stone (Ed.), Manifestos for World Thought.: Rowman & Littlefield link
  • Mohaghegh, J. (in press). The Dromomaniac, The Neo-Bedouin: Theories of Restlessness in Middle Eastern Literature. In Brian Seitz and Ron Scapp (Ed.), Being-In-Transit: Thoughts on Travel, Place, and Culture.
  • Mohaghegh, J.B. (2014). Cosmopolitan Violence as Cosmological Reckoning: The Poetics of the Night Raid, the Martyred Body, and the Execution-spectacle. In Lucian Stone (Ed.), Iranian Identity and Cosmopolitanism: Spheres of Belonging (Suspensions: Contemporary Middle Eastern and Islamicate Thought). London: Bloomsbury Academic

Book Reviews

  • Mohaghegh, J. (2014). The Future Carnival: A Review Essay of Slavoj Žižek’s The Year of Dreaming Dangerously. Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World Review

Others

  • Mohaghegh, J., Stone, L. (in press). Manifestos for World Thought: Rowman & Littlefield link
  • Mohaghegh, J. (in press). Colossomania: World Thought and the Return to Immensity: Rowman & Littlefield link
  • Wise, C. (in press). Sorcery, Totem and Jihad in African Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Bensmaia, R. (in press). Gilles Deleuze, Postcolonial Theory, and the Philosophy of the Limit. London: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Zalloua, Z. (in press). Continental Philosophy and the Palestinian Question. London: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Mohaghegh, J. (in press). The Dromomaniac, The Neo-Bedouin: Theories of Restlessness in Middle Eastern Literature
  • Kayaalp, E., , (2015). Remaking Politics, Markets, and Citizens in Turkey: Governing Through Smoke: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Kacem, M.B., , (2014). Transgression and the Inexistent: A Philosophical Vocabulary: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Stone, L., , (2014). Iranian Identity and Cosmopolitanism: Spheres of Belonging: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Mutman, M. (2014). The Politics of Writing Islam: Voicing Difference: Bloomsbury Press link
  • Adib-Moghaddam, A. (2013). On the Arab Revolts and the Iranian Revolution: Power and Resistance Today: Bloomsbury Academic link
  • Lukic, D. (2013). Hostage Spaces of the Contemporary Islamicate World: Phantom Territoriality: Bloomsbury Press link

Presentations

  • "Secret Circles: Writings of the Outsider"
    Mohaghegh, J., Chung, U., Lukic, D., Bianca Tenorio, Jinane Gideon Ache, Jack Halpin, Daniel Leal, Eugenia Carmago, Elisa da Rocha Leao, S. "Secret Circles: Writings of the Outsider" Emergent World Thought Research Series, Babson College (2016)
  • Co-Organizer and Panel Discussant
    Mohaghegh, J. Co-Organizer and Panel Discussant "Islam and Psychoanalysis" panel, Salt Lake City, Utah (2016)
  • "The Dromomaniac, The Neo-Bedouin: Middle Eastern Literatures of Restlessness"
    Mohaghegh, J. "The Dromomaniac, The Neo-Bedouin: Middle Eastern Literatures of Restlessness" "Writing Diaspora" panel, Harvard University (2016)
  • "Born Upon the Dark Spear: Selected Poems of Ahmad Shamlu" (lecture and reading)
    Mohaghegh, J. "Born Upon the Dark Spear: Selected Poems of Ahmad Shamlu" (lecture and reading) CMP Poetry Reading, KGB, New York City (2016)
  • “The Virtual Middle East: New Philosophical-Artistic Movements of the Image”
    Mohaghegh, J. “The Virtual Middle East: New Philosophical-Artistic Movements of the Image” Humanities and Social Sciences Seminar, Koc University (2015)
  • “The Radical Outside: New Formations of World Thought”
    Mohaghegh, J. “The Radical Outside: New Formations of World Thought” Media Studies Seminar, Istanbul, Turkey (2015)
  • “The Unseen Militant: Women and Extremism in the Middle East”
    Mohaghegh, J. “The Unseen Militant: Women and Extremism in the Middle East” Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, Babson College (2015)
  • “The Sectarian Imagination: Fatalism, Extremity, and Apocalyptic Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Literature”
    Mohaghegh, J. “The Sectarian Imagination: Fatalism, Extremity, and Apocalyptic Resistance in Contemporary Middle Eastern Literature” American Comparative Literature Association, Seattle, WA (2015)
  • “Will to Chaos: The New Cultural Imagination of the Middle East”
    Mohaghegh, J. “Will to Chaos: The New Cultural Imagination of the Middle East” Cultural Studies Seminar, Istanbul, Turkey (2015)
  • Violence, Desire, and the Revolutionary Body
    Mohaghegh, J., Lukic, D., Epplin, C. Violence, Desire, and the Revolutionary Body IEW: Emergent World Thought: Violence, Desire, and the Revolutionary Body, Wellesley, MA (2014)
  • “Writings of the Buried Alive: Textual-Manic Intersections of Hedayat and Bensmaia
    Mohaghegh, J. “Writings of the Buried Alive: Textual-Manic Intersections of Hedayat and Bensmaia Borderlines: Reda Bensmaia, Continental Philosophy, and Postcolonialism Panel, New Orleans, LA (2014)
  • Poetic Apocalypses of the Middle East: Fatalism, Extremity, and the Rise of an Eastern Postmodernism
    Mohaghegh, J. Poetic Apocalypses of the Middle East: Fatalism, Extremity, and the Rise of an Eastern Postmodernism Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, New York University (2014)
  • Poetic Apocalypses of the Middle East: Fatalism, Extremity, and the Rise of an Eastern Postmodernism
    Mohaghegh, J. Poetic Apocalypses of the Middle East: Fatalism, Extremity, and the Rise of an Eastern Postmodernism Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, New York, NY (2014)
  • The Middle East and the West
    Mohaghegh, J. The Middle East and the West Trustees/Overseers Luncheon, Wellesley, MA (2014)
  • The Poetics of Apocalypse: World Reckonings of Contemporary Middle Eastern Thought
    Mohaghegh, J. The Poetics of Apocalypse: World Reckonings of Contemporary Middle Eastern Thought MLA Annual Convention, Chicago, IL (2014)
  • Acidic Subjectivities of the Middle East
    Mohaghegh, J. Acidic Subjectivities of the Middle East SPEP Annual Conference, Eugene, OR (2013)
  • The Poetics of Urban Violence: Narratives of Spatial Collapse in Iran (1952-1979)
    Mohaghegh, J. The Poetics of Urban Violence: Narratives of Spatial Collapse in Iran (1952-1979) International Conference - Urban Violence in the Middle East: Histories of Place and Event, London, England (2013)
  • On Sectarianism: Middle Eastern Manifestations of the Radical
    Mohaghegh, J. On Sectarianism: Middle Eastern Manifestations of the Radical The 10th Biennial Radical Philosophy Association Conference, Buffalo, NY (2012)
  • The Poetics of Rage: Cruelty, Vitalism, and Extremity in New Iranian Texts
    Mohaghegh, J. The Poetics of Rage: Cruelty, Vitalism, and Extremity in New Iranian Texts MLA Annual Convention, Seattle, WA (2012)