Ali Niroumand

Project Title: Here and There. How Transnational Flows of Political and Religious Remittances Transform  Sending and Receiving Societies: A circulative approach on societymaking through migration. The Case of “Religious” and “Secular” Iranian Diaspora Nationalisms in Germany

2013-2016: M.A. in Anglophone Modernities in Culture and Literature, Potsdam University, Germany

2009-2012: B.A. in German Studies (Major), English Studies (Minor), Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany

The unprecedented increase in transnational flows of people, ideas, and practices is transforming societies in unpredictable ways. Significant, yet under-researched, transnational flows of social remittances are among such flows. Understood here as the crossborder circular movement of ideas and practices through which diasporas can contribute to the socio-political transformation of the society in both their countries of origin and residence, the concept of social remittances is used to investigate the role of religion as intertwined with nationalism in the context of migration from Iran to Germany. It analyzes the transnational flows of two sub-strains of social remittances, namely political and religious remittances between Germany and Iran in terms of content, transmission, and impact, to observe processes of social change occurring in different societies simultaneously. Specifically the work aims to (1) propose a conceptual framework for studying the intersection of religion and politics, (specifically, nationalism(s) and Islam) beyond methodological nationalism, Eurocentrism, and Islamophobia (2) explain the (trans)formation and recent mobilization of Iranian secular nationalism in diaspora as an opposition to the official state-led religious nationalism of the Islamic Republic of Iran (3) assess the transformative potential of Iranian secular diaspora nationalism for Iran and Germany and discuss the possible outcomes of such transformations.