Loading Events

Philip Grant – Iranian Studies Translation Workshop 2

May 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
365 Kaplan Hall,
This event is being hosted by Iranian Studies for all interested UCLA students and faculty.

A Ghazal by Hafez

Hafez of Shiraz, the lesān-al-ḡayb, “tongue of the unseen,” is today probably the most beloved of poets among Persian-speakers the world over, and his ghazals are not simply read, or even recited, as English poetry is, but are also a central element of social occasions, shared for instance between people gathering to mark the winter solstice (Shab-e Yaldā), or used year-round for the purposes of augury (fāl-e Hafez). His texts are playful, ambiguous, and of course use meter and rhyme in ways that are impossible in English. Should we conclude with Dick Davis, pre- eminent translator of medieval Persian verse, that translating Hafez is likewise impossible? Or concur with his later practice, and translate this poetry anyway? We will concentrate on one of the poet’s shorter ghazals (to be confirmed), explore ways of translating it, and compare it with the numerous English translations that exist.

Translating Medieval Persian

In these two workshops we will use openness of translation as a pedagogical method. We will translate texts by two celebrated medieval authors together from Persian to English. The two workshops are suitable for anyone with a relatively advanced knowledge of Persian (whether medieval or modern) and an interest in translation, whether for its own sake or for use in research in other fields.

About the Speaker

Philip Grant is a Persian-English translator, anthropologist, and historian. His translation of Iranian philosopher Seyyed Javad Tabatabai’s Ibn Khaldun and the Social Sciences is forthcoming with Polity Press. Aside from translation work, Grant teaches linguistic and biological anthropology at the University of La Verne, and is an Associate Scholar of the Center for Persian Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He is working on a history of the Zanj Rebellion (869-83CE, southern Iraq and south-western Iran), on which he has published in al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭāʾ and in a forthcoming volume with Edinburgh University Press. He received his PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from UC Irvine in 2012; his dissertation was based on collaborative fieldwork with Iranian diaspora women’s activists. From 2012-16 he was Research Fellow in the Social Studies of Finance at the University of Edinburgh, and co- author of Chains of Finance (OUP, 2017).


May 3
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:


365 Kaplan Hall