Ganjavi, Mahdi

Writer/Scholar, Independent

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Mahdi Ganjavi has a PhD from the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, University of Toronto. His research focuses on the Franklin Book Programs, the cultural Cold War, post-World War II transnational history of education, book, print, translation and the politics of archive, and historiography in the contemporary Middle East. He is currently working on his book “Education and the Cultural Cold War in the Middle East: The Franklin Book Programs in Iran” (forthcoming with I.B. Tauris). Dr. Ganjavi’s scholarly writings have appeared in the International Journal of Lifelong Education, Encyclopedia Iranica, Iranian Studies, Review of the Middle East Studies and the Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education

University of Toronto

PhD, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

This thesis explores the role of the Franklin Book Programs (FBP) (1952–1977) in the print, publishing industry, textbook writing, and educational policies of the Middle East, with a specific focus on Iran. The Franklin Book Programs (FBP) was a private not-for-profit U.S. organization founded in 1952 during the Cold War and was subsidized by the United States’ government agencies as well as private corporations. The FBP initially intended to promote U.S. liberal values and also to create appropriate markets for U.S. books in ‘Third World’ countries (Robbins, 2007). However, from its initial objective of exporting U.S. culture to rival the influence of Soviet socialism, the FBP evolved into an international educational program publishing university textbooks, schoolbooks, and supplementary readings (Laugesen, 2012). As the FBP moved to become the most important organization of the Cold War with a global focus on the production of educational material, its activities broadened from the ones specifically related to translation to those related to the development of printing, publishing, book distribution, and bookselling institutions. Therefore, the FBP started to build and expand printing plants; it encouraged library development and more importantly undertook the training of teachers as textbook writers.