Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran

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    Computers and Challenges of Writing in Persian
    A lecture in English by Behrooz Parhami. 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.

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    Computers and Challenges of Writing in Persian
    A lecture in Persian by Behrooz Parhami. 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.

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    What Kind of Wine did Rudaki Fancy?
    A lecture in English by Kamran Talattof. October 9, 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 winemaking is depicted within a highly allegorical poem entitled “Mother of Wine.”

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    Sexuality and Cultural Change in Iranian Cinema
    A lecture in Persian by Kamran Talattof. 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.

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    Abbas Kiarostami: The Man and His Arts
    Presentations by Shiva Balaghi, Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Hamid Naficy, and Ahmad Kiarostami. June 11, 2017.

    Presentations in English about the Abbas Kiarostami and his artistic projects followed by a panel discussion in Persian moderated by Dr. Nayereh Tohidi. Presentations also included a screening of the short film Take Me Home (2016).

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    Lost Souls: Photography of African Eunuchs & Female Servants in Qajar Iran
    A lecture in English by Pedram Khosronejad. May 1, 2017.

    The focus of scholars of photography of Qajar Iran, remains fixed solely on photographic content, without any consideration of the materiality of photographic form. Recognizing photographs as material culture is a way to address such a blind spot, and suggests that any methodological use of them requires a more complex and subtle approach.

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    Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) and the Creation of the “Sacred Defense Art”: Painting, Graphic Design, and Cinema
    A lecture in Persian by Pedram Khosronejad. April 30, 2017.

    Pedram Khosronejad is Farzaneh Family Chair and Associate Director for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies Program (IPGS) at the Oklahoma State University and also associate member of Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laicités, CNRS-Paris, France. He obtained his PhD at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

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    Literature: Its Existence and Its Appearance
    A lecture in Persian by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak. April 9, 2017.

    Bud o Nemud-e Sokhan (Literature: Its Existence and Its Appearance) brings together twenty select articles which Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak has written and published in the Persian language over three decades of academic service in the United States, and which have a bearing on a novel understanding of the history of Persian Literature.

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    Iran-China Relations in a Changing World
    A lecture in Persian by Manochehr Dorraj. March 5, 2017.

    As two great civilizations with an illustrious imperial past, Iran and China have a long history of trade, political and cultural ties that go back to the ancient Silk Road more than 2100 years ago.

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    Metaphysical Subversions in Contemporary Iranian Art
    A lecture in English by Abbas Daneshvari. February 15, 2017.

    The directional force of contemporary Iranian art, especially photography, the genius of its expression, is principally the subversion of metaphysical concepts, be they theological, philosophical and/or ontological.

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    Contested Terrains of Iranian Culture
    A lecture in English by Nasrin Rahimieh. February 9, 2017.

    Throughout modern Iranian history, culture has served as a means of imposing unity and cohesion onto society. The Pahlavi monarchs used it to project an image of Iran as an ancient civilization, re-emerging as an equal to Western nations, while the revolutionaries deployed it to remake the country into an Islamic nation.

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    Persepolis After Alexander
    A lecture in Persian by Ali Mousavi. January 15, 2017.

    Ali Mousavi was born and raised in Iran. He studied in Lyon, France, and took his B.A. in Art History, and his M.A. in Archaeology from the University of Lyon, France. He obtained his Ph.D. in archaeology of the ancient Near East from the University of California, Berkeley.

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    Two Book Talks in Persian
    Two book talks in Persian by Ghobad Fakhimi and Fredun Hojabri. December 4, 2016.

    Ghobad Fakhimi's talk is titled: “Iran’s Thirty Years of Oil History: Personal Memoirs Intersecting Declassified Documents” and Fredun Hojabri's talk is titled: “Personal Memoirs Intersecting Nationalization of the Iranian Oil Industry, Student Movements, and the Formations of Aryamehr (Sharif) University of Technology”

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    Documentary film screening. Shabnam Tolouei. October 29, 2016

    Dust-Flower-Flame is a documentary film about the Iranian poet and theologian Tahirih Qurratul Ayn, considered one of the most important figures of the feminist movements in 19th century in Iran.

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    Ehsan Yarshater in Conversation with Mandana Zandian
    A book talk by Mandana Zandian. October 9, 2016

    Mandana Zandian is a graduate of Shahid Beheshti Medical School (1997) and presently works at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, where she is currently engaged in research on aggressive types of advanced cancers.

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    Media Diplomacy Between Iran and the West: War by Other Means
    Hamid Naficy. May 13, 2016.

    Over the past thirty-plus years, normal diplomatic relations between Iran and the West, particularly the United States, have been curtailed, encouraging much of the diplomacy between the two countries to be conducted either in deep secrecy (the Iran Contra Scandal during the Reagan-Rafsanjani presidencies), or allowed to surface in the media.

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    The Concept of Iran: Transition and Revival (Sixth to Ninth Centuries)
    Hossein Kamaly, Ali Mousavi, Parvaneh Pourchariati. May 8, 2016.
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    The Iconoclastic Icon: The Life, Poetry, and the Letters of Forough Farrokhzad
    Farzaneh Milani. April 10 & 11, 2016.

    Farzaneh Milani is Raymond J. Nelson Professor and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures and former Director of Studies in Women and Gender at the University of Virginia.

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    The Cinematic Representation of Architecture
    A short film by Tahmineh Milani. April 10, 2016

    Born in Tabriz in 1960, Tahmineh Milani is one of the most successful Iranian woman filmmakers on the international scene.

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    The Development of Iranian Images of Babism: Babi Religion in Nasekh al-Tavarikh
    Nader Saiedi. February 28, 2016.

    Nader Saiedi received his PhD in Sociology from University of Wisconsin, Madison (1983) and has been teaching social theory and peace studies for three decades.

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    The Significance of Majles Shura and Majles Khobregan Elections in Iran
    Kazem Alamdari, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Akbar Mahdi, Nouradin Pirmoazen. February 14, 2016.
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    Iranian Women Writing Transnationally
    Mahnaz Attarha, Mehrnoosh Mazarei, Sheida Mohamadi, Paxima Mojavezi, Gina Nahai, Mahdokht Sanati, & Sholeh Wolpe. December 6, 2015.
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    From Jinns to Germs: A Genealogy of Pasteurian Islam
    Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi. November 9, 2015.

    The equivalence of jinns with germs enabled early 20th-century Iranian physicians to offer detailed microbiological explanations for questions of “purity and filth” (taharah va nijasat), questions which had been conventionally elucidated by Shi‘i mujtahids in their responsa (tawzih al-masa’il or risalah ‘amaliyah).

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    The Cyrus Cylinder and the Rights Question
    Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi. November 8, 2015.

    "The Cyrus Cylinder and the Rights Question" explores the interplay between historical memory, social rights and contested conceptions of government and constitutionality in the four decades prior to the 1979 Revolution.

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    Shi’ism and Popular Leadership in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911: The Case of Muhammad Kazim Khurasani
    Mateo M. Farzaneh. October 28, 2015.

    The Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1906–1911) was the twentieth century’s first such political movement in the Middle East.

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    Children’s Song Writer: Life and Work of Abbas Yamini Sharif
    May 31, 2015.

    Children’s Song Writer presents the life, literary and cultural efforts and accomplishments of Abbas Yamini Sharif (1919-1989), a pioneer in the development of children’s literature in Iran.

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    Six Centuries, Six Years (Iran, 2014)
    Film screening followed by discussion. May 3, 2015.

    The film portrays the endeavors of a group of Iranian master musicians who are trying to locate, restore and record a repertoire of compositions attributed to Abd al-Qadir Maraghi, a prominent composer who lived six centuries ago and greatly influenced Middle Eastern classical music.

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    Imagining a Modern Iran and the Human Sciences
    Ali Mirsepassi. April 27, 2015.

    Why the “human sciences” have become the target of a major government crackdown in Iran today. This talk will focus upon a specific intellectual shift in contemporary Iran.

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    The “Marvelous” Life and Thought of Ahmad Fardid
    Ali Mirsepassi. April 26, 2015.

    This lecture will explore the life and works of the Iranian philosopher and intellectual figure, Ahmad Fardid This ‘master’ intellectual influenced important Iranian thinkers and activists over a period of several decades and is credited with coining the powerful neologism “Gharbzadegi” (Westoxication).

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    Compulsory Veiling (Hijab) and Stealthy Freedom in Iran: A Conversation with Masih Alinejad, Journalist
    April 12, 2015.

    Masih Alinejad is a prominent Iranian journalist, renowned for her critical and courageous writings against the state repression and violation of human rights.

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    Persian Women and Other Lies: Story-telling as Historical Retrieval
    Bahiyyih Nakhjavani. March 31, 2015.

    Plots. Political intrigue. Treachery. The high-handed actions of omnipotent rulers. Death by decree. That’s the world that Bahiyyih Nakhjavani plunges readers into with The Woman Who Read Too Much: Persia in the mid-nineteenth century, a society that clings to the old ways even as the world around it is rapidly transforming.

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    A Panel on Russo-Iranian Political Relations and Intellectural Ties
    Maziar Behrooz, Ali Farasati and Afshin Matin-Asgari. February 22, 2015.
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    Hafez, Timur and Khosrow of Delhi: A Geo-historical Investigation about the “Shirazi Turk”
    Domenico Ingenito. February 8, 2015.

    Domenico Ingenito (born in 1982 in Vico Equense, Italy; Ph.D. Università di Napoli "L'Orientale") is Assistant Professor of Classical Persian at UCLA.

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    Iran’s Environment, Challenges and Opportunities
    Morad Tahbaz. January 25 & 26, 2015.

    Morad Tahbaz graduated from Colgate University in 1977 with a degree in Liberal Arts and from Columbia University with an MBA in 1983.

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    A Social History of Dance in Iran
    Mansoureh Sabtzadeh. December 14, 2014.

    Mansoureh Sabtzadeh has a Ph.D. in Persian Language and Literature from the Islamic Azad University (Research and Science branch) in Tehran, Iran.

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    Saadi’s Non-Violent Discourse in His Violent Era
    Mohammad Navid Bazargan. November 23, 2014

    Mohammad Navid Bazargan is an Assistant Professor of Persian Literature at Azad University and has been a member of the academic board of the Great Encyclopedia of Islam since 2004.

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    Hidden Liberalism in Modern Iran: The Paradox of Political Struggle
    Hussein Banai. October 27, 2014.

    Hussein Banai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College, and a Research Affiliate at the Center for International Studies at MIT.

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    Looking for Ethnicity in Iran
    Rasmus Christian Elling. June 2, 2014.

    The question of ethnic and national identity constitutes a highly complex and controversial topic in Iran, and only recently have scholars questioned Persian-centrist, majoritarian or nationalist bias in Iranian historiography and research.

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    The Oil City in an Age of Jazz: Nostalgia and Modernity in Abadan, Iran
    Rasmus Christian Elling. June 1, 2014.

    We often hear how oil is both a blessing and a curse that engenders wealth for the select few and misery for many: black gold for the elites and ‘the devil’s excrement’ for the masses.

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    Public Lives and Private Letters: Iran’s First Literary Couple
    Houra Yavari. May 4, 2014.

    Simin Daneshvar (1921-2012) and Jalal Al-e Ahmad (1923-1969) are regarded as Iran's most famous intellectual couple.

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    Russian and Soviet Occupation of Iran in the First World War
    Elham Malekzadeh. April 13, 2014.

    The British and Russian occupations of Iran in WWI have been documented by historians.

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    Reasons behind Safavid decline and the lessons that can be learned from them
    Rudi Matthee. March 30, 2014.

    The decline and fall of Safavid Iran is traditionally seen as the natural outcome of the unrelieved political stagnation and moral degeneration which characterized late Safavid Iran

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    Iran’s Economy: Challenges and Opportunities
    Hashem Pesaran. February 24, 2014.

    Dr. M. Hashem Pesaran is the John Elliot Distinguished Chair in Economics and professor of economics at USC Dornsife, and the director of the Centre in Applied Financial Economics at USC.

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    Sayyad’s, “The Ass”
    Mary Apick and Parviz Sayyad. February 16, 2014.

    An introduction and reading by Mary Apick and Parviz Sayyad

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    Hush: Girls Don’t Scream
    Writer/Director Pouran Derakhshandeh. Film Screening. February 8, 2014.

    Shirin, a small girl growing up in Iran, is tormented by a secret which follows her throughout her life. She eventually takes her redemption into her own hands, in an ending you will never forget.

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    Shahnameh dar Derazna-ye Sadehha: Sargozasht-e Yek Shahkar
    Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak. January 19, 2014.

    Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak is professor of Persian Language and Literature and Iranian Cultures, and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Maryland.

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    The World, the Text and the Wonderful Life: The Pioneering Spirit of Early-Persian Poetry
    Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak. January 15, 2014.

    Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak is professor of Persian Language and Literature and Iranian Cultures, and Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Maryland.

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    Honor and Rights: the Politics of Love in Iran
    Ziba Mir-Hosseini. January 9, 2014.

    Iranian politics since the 1979 Revolution is commonly viewed as a polarized conflict between “secular” and “Islamic” ideologies.