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September 2017

2017 Fall Reception

September 27 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures 2017 Fall Reception   Lunch and Refreshments will be served Join us to kick off the new academic year!

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October 2017

Greater Glory: Darius I and Divinity in Achaemenid Royal Ideology

October 4 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Matthew Waters (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) The close link between the king and the divine has deep roots in Near Eastern royal ideologies, and the Persian kings during the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BCE) followed this tradition. Exactly how close was the link? Recent studies suggest a blurred line between the two especially during at least some parts of the Neo-Assyrian period. However one chooses to answer that question for the Achaemenids, the king is to be considered a fulcrum.…

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Sexuality and Cultural Change in Iranian Cinema

October 8 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A lecture in Persian by Kamran Talattof (University of Arizona). October 8, 2017. The history of Iranian cinema adequately reflects the construction of gender in Iran. But the expression of sexuality is a problematic notion on a number of levels. In western societies, the preoccupation with human sexuality prompted reflection about human physiology, gender identity, and ethical considerations, resulting in the perception of sex as ontologically separate from mere reproduction, eventually facilitating sexual expression. In traditional segments of Iranian society,…

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What Kind of Wine did Rudaki Fancy?

October 9 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

A lecture in English by Kamran Talattof (University of Arizona). October 09, 2017. One of the earliest Persian poets, Rudaki (859–941), employed the word wine within a wide semantic register in his poems. However, his unicity is most manifest when the process of wine making within a highly allegorical poem entitled “Mother of Wine” is depicted. Through contextual, historical, and discursive analyses, it is argued that this poem—written in the form of a qasideh—was composed for the purpose of being performed…

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How much of a physician was Rashīd al-Dīn?

October 18 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann A lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn) Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh Hamadānī (d. 718/1318) is often introduced as “ṭabīb,” or ‘physician,’ mostly to distinguish him from authors with similar names, notably the epistolographer Rashīd al-Dīn Waṭwāṭ (d. 578/1182). This paper discusses Rashīd al-Dīn’s scholarly persona as a physician. Starting from his epithet, ṭabīb, the paper explores his role as a medical practitioner, patron, and author of scholarly medical treatises, arguing that Rashīd al-Dīn’s name is henceforth to…

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November 2017

Fifty Years of Poor Penmanship: How Computers Struggled to Learn the Persian Script

November 19 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A lecture in Persian by Behrooz Parhami (UCSB). November 19, 2017. The Persian script has presented some difficulties, ever since printing presses were introduced in Iran in the 1600s. The appearance of typewriters created additional problems and the introduction of digital computers added to the design challenges. These difficulties persisted, until high-resolution dot-matrix printing offered greater flexibility to font designers and the expansion of the computer market in the Middle East attracted investments on improving the Persian script for computers. Nevertheless,…

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Fifty Years of Poor Penmanship: How Computers Struggled to Learn the Persian Script

November 20 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

A lecture in English by Behrooz Parhami (UCSB). November 20, 2017.  The Persian script has presented some difficulties, ever since printing presses were introduced in Iran in the 1600s. The appearance of typewriters created additional problems and the introduction of digital computers added to the design challenges. These difficulties persisted, until high-resolution dot-matrix printing offered greater flexibility to font designers and the expansion of the computer market in the Middle East attracted investments on improving the Persian script for computers. Nevertheless,…

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