Leading twentieth-century Iranian public intellectual Ali Shariati has been described by some as a proponent of a project of nativism and cultural authenticity. This article offers an alternative reading of Shariati, one that highlights the germination of his thought in a process of constant oscillation between particular historical-sociopolitical attachments and a decidedly cosmopolitan intellectual horizon. This oscillation, it is argued, while born out of the core-periphery dynamics of commodity and knowledge production within a colonially constructed world order, nevertheless allows Shariati to transcend postcolonial anxieties and nativist traps even as he calls on his fellow Iranian and Muslim intellectuals to attend to resources within the local culture and to delink from Eurocentric and colonially globalized knowledge regimes. In order to place his thought within the broader framework of the emergence and evolution of anti- and decolonial thought, Saffari reads Shariati in dialogue with some of the leading twentieth- and twenty-first-century critics of colonial modernity: Muhammad Iqbal, Frantz Fanon, Enrique Dussel, and Walter D. Mignolo. Saffari argues that the oscillation between local attachments and cosmopolitan vistas in Shariati's work is best understood as a function of his cosmopolitan localism.

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