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June 2018

“Untaken Paths”- Film Screening and Discussion

June 10 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Film Screening of Untaken Paths (2017, 106 min, English subtitles) from director Tahmieh Milani will be followed by a panel discussion. About the Film: Legendary feminist filmmaker Tahmineh Milani is no stranger to stories of women’s marital struggles. Untaken Paths, her fourteenth feature, tells the story of a young woman in love who marries against the wishes of her family. She is challenged when her nascent marriage is thrown into trouble because of the couple’s roots in different social strata. The…

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May 2018

Is There a Persian Literary History? Twentieth-century Journals and the Formation of Literary Criticism

May 20 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Aria Fani (UC Berkeley) This talk will consider the role of early twentieth-century Persian-language journals in institutionalizing what we know as Persian literary history today in Iran and Afghanistan. The focus of the talk will be Mohammad Taqi Bahar’s journal Daneshkadeh, and in particular ‘Abbas Eqbal-Ashtiyani’s series titled “Tarikh-e adabi” (Literary history, 1918-1919). Once we investigate the ways in which literary journals have helped to forge and institutionalize Persian literary history, they will emerge not just as a byproduct of…

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Soundtrack of the Revolution: The Politics of Music in Iran

May 7 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Nahid Siamdoust (Yale University) Soundtrack of the Revolution offers a striking account of Iranian culture, politics, and social change. Drawing on over five years of research in Iran, including during the 2009 protests, Nahid Siamdoust introduces a full cast of characters, from musicians and audience members to state officials, and takes readers into concert halls and underground performances, as well as the state licensing and censorship offices.   Registration Please complete this form to register for the event. Seating is…

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April 2018

Ancient Persia and the West: An International Symposium

April 25 @ 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

The Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World and the Getty Research Institute are co-organizing a one-day symposium to be held on April 25, 2018 at the Pourdavoud Center, UCLA. Presenters will include invited speakers and the current Getty Villa Scholars, whose projects focus on the encounters of ancient Iran with the classical world. The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2017–18 and the 2018–19 years address the political, intellectual, religious, and artistic relations between Persia,…

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The Frankfurt School, Authoritarianism, Fundamentalism and Cosmetics: From 1920s Germany to Contemporary Middle East

April 22 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Janet Afary (UC Santa Barbara) There is very little information on the romantic and sexual behaviors of young Muslim contemporaries in the Middle East, or among immigrant communities in the West. However, Facebook has provided us with a new tool, which permits a better understanding of young Muslim practices from Algeria and Egypt to Iran and Pakistan. In this lecture, two questions will be addressed: is there’s a link between authoritarianism and the desire to control women’s bodies? Furthermore, is there a connection between authoritarianism and Islamic religious…

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Persian and Greek Participation in the Making of China’s First Empire

April 22 @ 2:00 pm

Terra-cotta warriors, bronze chariots and horses are among the iconic artifacts associated with China’s first imperial dynasty, the Qin (221 206 BCE). Chinese archaeologist Duan Qinbo shares new evidence that suggests the material culture and social governance of the Qin may not be solely indigenous Chinese, but may also have come to China along Central Asian trade routes.

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Panel on Environment and Sustainability (in Persian)

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

Following the lectures of the speakers, there will be a period for Q & A. Amir AghaKouchak (UC Irvine) Anthropogenic Drought and the Notion of Water-Bankruptcy خشکسالی انسانی و مقوله ورشکستگی آبی The presentation focuses on Iran currently experiencing serious water and environmental problems. Droughts coupled with increasing water demands and over-abstraction of surface and groundwater resources have escalated the nation’s water situation to a critical level. We argue that while climate change has played a role, the primary drivers…

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February 2018

Between Graven Images and Zoroastrian Texts: How to Study Ancient Iranian Religious Iconography?

February 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Michael Shenkar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) The study of the Iranian religious iconography has been traditionally bound to the Zoroastrian texts. Deities, animals and symbols have all been usually interpreted based on the descriptions found in the Avesta and in the Middle Persian literature. However, to treat these problematic texts as a source of Iranian imagery comparable with the Bible for the Byzantine art or with the Buddhist sacred texts for the Buddhist art, is certainly misleading. The potential…

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Why and How Iranian Identity has become so Politicized? (Lecture in Persian)

February 11 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Mehrzad Boroujerdi (Syracuse) In this presentation, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University and Visiting Scholar at UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies, will address such issues as the central tenants of Iranian identity, attempts to refine it, and the current challenges and controversies regarding this contested notion.

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Freed from Hostageship: Iranian Perspectives on the Arsacids of Rome

February 7 @ 4:00 pm

Jake Nabel (Getty Research Institute) Over the course of the Julio-Claudian period in Rome (c.30 BCE-68 CE), several Arsacid princes from the ruling family of the Parthian empire were sent to live in the court of the Roman emperor. Ancient Greco-Roman sources describe these figures as “hostages,” and modern scholars have largely followed suit. While contemporary Parthian evidence is scarce, this talk will draw on later Iranian sources and broader histories of the ancient Near East to consider the Arsacids…

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