Next Article in Journal
What Lies in the Gutter of a Traumatic Past: Infancia clandestina [Clandestine Childhood], Animated Comics, and the Representation of Violence
Next Article in Special Issue
Learning from Past Displacements?1 The History of Migrations between Historical Specificity, Presentism and Fractured Continuities
Previous Article in Journal
‘You think your writing belongs to you?’: Intertextuality in Contemporary Jewish Post-Holocaust Literature
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Narrative of Resistance: A Brief History of the Dandara Community, Brazil
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 21;

Reading Derrida in Tehran: Between an Open Door and an Empty Sofreh

Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East and Central Asia), Australian National University, Canberra 0200, Australia
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [633 KB, uploaded 16 March 2018]


We can only begin to grasp hospitality as we enact it and yet, in the moment of enactment, hospitality eludes us. In this paper I look at the enactment of hospitality in the relationship between Iranian citizen-hosts and Afghan refugee-guests in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to reflect more broadly on questions of Derridean hospitality. Moving between the theoretical and the ethnographic, I forcefully bring to bear on a situation of protracted refugee displacement, a notion of hospitality that has, to a large extent, remained abstract and unanchored. The scalar shifts between the domestic and the national (so integral to Derrida’s theorising of the hospitable), are here reproduced in an examination of Iranian hospitality that simultaneously considers the juridical framework of asylum in the Islamic Republic and the domestic or homely expression of welcome, that occurs in the ushering of the guest over the threshold and the sharing of food around the sofreh. View Full-Text
Keywords: Derrida; hospitality; Iran; Afghan refugees Derrida; hospitality; Iran; Afghan refugees
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Yarbakhsh, E. Reading Derrida in Tehran: Between an Open Door and an Empty Sofreh. Humanities 2018, 7, 21.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top