Scope and arrangement
The F. M. Esfandiary / FM-2030 papers document the professional career and personal life of the author, lecturer and social visionary. The dates of the papers span 1943-2000. They include personal and professional correspondence; notebooks; manuscripts; typescripts; book reviews; press releases; interviews; lecture and seminar notes; photographs; and sound recordings. The F. M. Esfandiary / FM-2030 Papers are an important resource for the study of American literature, Iranian-American intellectual culture, the emergence of postmodernism, the postindustrial age and millennialism in the late 20th century. The papers include documentation of Esfandiary's literary career in which he published seven books over three decades. Esfandiary's personal correspondence captures the intellectual milieu of New York's bohemian Greenwich Village where lived during the 1950s and 1960s. Letters from friends and family in Iran are in Farsi. Esfandiary traveled often and by the 1970s was bi-coastal, living in both New York and Los Angeles. Letters to Esfandiary from his readers offer glimpses into the attitudes of New Age enthusiasts committed to his descriptions of the transformations of social and religious institutions. The papers include clippings about Esfandiary, including interviews in the international press, press releases, and reviews of his writings. These items provide a measure of the critical response to Esfandiary's work throughout his career. Esfandiary's literary archive includes published works and unpublished manuscripts as well as a considerable amount of research material. Manuscripts and corrected typescripts of published works include: The Beggar; Day of Sacrifice; Identity Card; and Are you a Transhuman? His unpublished manuscripts include "Countdown to Immortality" and "Guide to the Post-Industrial Age." The teaching files document Esfandiary's lecture courses in futurist philosophy at the New School for Social Research and the UCLA Extension School. Esfandiary's seminars on long-term planning were addressed to private corporations and governments agencies in California and Florida. Personal calendars span his entire career and offer insight into the extent of the enigmatic author's daily activities and social networks in New York and Los Angeles. The research files show Esfandiary's later working methods and serve as a vertical file of subjects related to the changing social dynamics resulting from scientific advancements in the last two decades of the 20th century in such areas as communication technology, genetics, and space travel.
The F. M. Esfandiary / FM-2030 papers are arranged in seven series:
- 1943-1999, n.d.
Esfandiary's correspondence is divided into two subseries: A. Personal Correspondence, B. Professional Correspondence
This series contains published and unpublished writings of F. M. Esfandiary from all phases of his long and varied career and are divided into three subseries: A. Editorials, B. Published Books, C. Shorter works and D. Unpublished works.
This series consists of course descriptions, lectures notes and feedback from students and professionals who participated in Esfandiary's courses, lectures, and professional seminars. The teaching files document Esfandiary's career as lecturer at the New School for Social Research and the UCLA Extension School in the 1970s and 1980s and his later seminars at the Florida International University in the 1990s. Esfandiary's career in education began in 1969 at the New School for Social Research. His course, 'Toward a New Concept of Man,' was first taught in the Sociology department and sought to develop a new visionary image of man free from the bogged down ideas of alienation, estrangement and identity crisis. This course was taught until Fall of 1975, but by that point was under the heading of futuristics. In addition to lecturing at educational institutions, Esfandiary maintained a busy schedule of professional seminars and workshops for industrial, government and professional groups. The files include correspondence and feedback from Esfandiary's consulting at California Department of Justice and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Between 1981 and 1991, Esfandiary's seminars were held Lockheed Corporation, University of California Department of Plastic Surgery, American Institute of Architects, Group Psychotherapy Association of California, American Planning Association National University Extension Association, and California Society of Certified Public Accountants. These workshops focused on planning for the future and exegeses of the postindustrial economy. Ephemera from Esfandiary's press tours and speaking engagements from the 1970s is also included in the seminar files.
The address books and calendars present a detailed record of Esfandiary's personal and professional career. The address books include personal contacts from his time in California, New York, Paris and Florida. There are business cards included for the years 1980-1999. The calendars are date books with comments on daily activities for each day of the year 1960 to 1997. Notebooks span the dates of Esfandiary's professional career. The notebooks from the 1950-1958 offer insight in the philosophical and psychological background of his thought. The personal documents include early identification from the 1948 Olympic Games at London and the United Nations, and immigration forms processed upon Esfandiary's naturalization as an American citizen.
- c. 1970-1999
The research files are arranged alphabetically and reflect Esfandiary's intellectual activity during the last three decades of his life. The files support his unpublished manuscripts, "Abundance and Immortality: The Post Industrial World 2000-2040," "Countdown to Immortality," and "Guide to the Post-Industrial Age." The files also provide evidence of general research interests in communications, immortality and genetics and are a useful subject file of breakthroughs in science and technology from 1970-1999. Esfandiary's research methods included the insertion of clipping files from a wide range of periodicals into notebooks with added commentary and notes. Files relating to Esfandiary's lifesuit represent his ongoing development of experimental clothing that incorporated the scientific advances of the time.
Esfandiary's photographs are arranged chronologically and document his life from 1947-1999. The earliest photographs include black and white images of Esfandiary at Berkeley and UCLA. The photographs are mostly personal and are held in envelopes with Esfandiary's own notes.
- 1978-1985, n.d.
The sound recording include documentation of Esfandiary's seminars on the future and his public appearances in support of his book Are You A Transhuman?