The Risks of Translation: Towards a History of Risk in Iran

Thursday, November 7
Time:  12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location:  208 Knox Hall

 Philip Grant is a research fellow in Social Studies of Finance at the University of Edinburgh in the UK. During this event, he will speak about the study of the concept of 'risk' and its import into Iran, which reveals much about the asymmetrical power dynamics and the political and ethical shifts of which the translation of concepts and techniques is an important part to a future study of finance in contemporary Iran, as well as to a reassessment of its history.

 In seeking an answer, then, to the question of why there is no Persian equivalent of English "risk", except for the loanword, we might point to the late development of insurance, finance, techniques of corporate management, and shareholder ownership in Iran, as well as to the more recent development of the ethics of individualized self-promotion and realization. However, in so doing we give the impression of a benign and inevitable modernity radiating out from its Euro-American heartlands. But translation, no more than economics and finance, is not a purely technical exercise; rather it is interwoven with and inseparable from key ethical and political questions.


This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute.