Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Lecture Series in Celebration of Noruz at the University of Maryland, College Park

In celebration of Noruz, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies will be presenting “Paradeisos: Origins and Historical Development of Persian Gardens,” a talk by Professor Mohammad Gharipour, as part of The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Lecture Series at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Series is named in honor of Dr. Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, the Founder, Chair and President of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute.

Dr. Mohammad Gharipour is Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Previously, he taught at Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Maryland Institute College of Art. He is the recipient of the Hamad Bin Khalifa Fellowship in Islamic Art (2007), the Sprio Kostof Fellowship Award from the Society of Architectural Historians (2008), the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Fellowship for the publication of his book, Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in History, Poetry and the Arts (2010), the Morgan State University Award for Outstanding Research (2013), and the National Endowment in Humanities Faculty Award (2014). In February 2016, he was selected by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine as one of twelve minority scholars who are making their mark in academia. Dr. Gharipour has published extensively on architectural and landscape history. He is also the Director and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. He received his Ph.D. in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology (2009) and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Tehran (2001).

Monday, April 2, 2018 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | HJ Patterson 2114/2118 | University of Maryland, College Park

Find out more about RIPS at UMD

The Rose Empire: Masterpieces of 19th-century Persian Art Exhibition at the Louvre-Lens Museum

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is proud to announce the first major exhibition dedicated to the magnificent art of the Qajar dynasty, The Rose Empire: Masterpieces of 19th-century Persian Art, that will run at the Louvre Museum’s branch in Lens, northern France, from March 28 to July 23, 2018.

The Rose Empire: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Persian Art is a comprehensive and unprecedented overview of Qajar art, bringing together more than 400 works – paintings, drawings, jewelry, enamels, rugs, clothing, photographs and ceremonial weapons – all showcased by French fashion designer Christian Lacroix’s immersive and vibrant design.
The exhibition’s title is a reference both to Persian literature and to the seat of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran from 1786 to 1925. It is named after the Golestan, the collection of poems by the 13th-century poet Saadi that was first translated into French in the 18th century by the orientalist Andre du Ryer under the title “The Rose Empire.” When the first Qajar sovereigns settled in Tehran, they gave their palace the same name, and to this day the kar-e Golestan (Golestan Palace) is still considered a masterpiece of Qajar art and architecture.

The exhibition is conceived as a stroll through the room of an opulent Qajar palace. Visitors enter the gallery through a monumental doorway inspired by a triple arcade that appears in a 19th-century Jules Laurens painting. The rooms are grouped into four architectural units, corresponding to the four main sections of the exhibition, and each unit is identified by different shades of a certain color that is characteristic of Qajar art: blue, red, green and yellow. The walls are hung with silk, and walkways are covered with rugs, recalling the sumptuousness of Iranian textiles.

Alongside the exhibition, curated by Gwenaëlle Fellinger, the museum is organizing a series of events and conferences, including an international colloquium reviewing current research on the art of the Qajar dynasty that will take place on June 21-23. All events will be hosted at La Scène, the main auditorium of the Louvre-Lens museum, situated in Lens, 200 kilometers north of Paris. The exhibition and accompanying colloquium are supported by the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund, established by Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, as part of the Louvre Endowment Fund.

Learn more about the Rose Empire exhibition

Sepideh Raissadat, Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist at the University of Washington School of Music

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to share that The School of Music of the University of Washington has invited Sepideh Raissadat (Roshan Institute Fellow, 2016) as a 2018 Winter Quarter Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist. While in Seattle during this Artist in Residence program, she is teaching Persian music to students with both its theoretical and practical aspects. At the end of her residency, Ms. Raissadat is expected to perform a concert accompanied by her students and by guest artists Sina Khaledi (Santour), Hamin Honari (Tombak) and Ali Sajjadi (Oud). The concert will be free and open to the public.

Ms. Raissadat is a Persian classical vocalist and musician, who began her recording career at the age of 18 with an album with Master Parviz Meshkatian (Konj-e Saburi, 1999). She was the first female vocalist to have a solo public performance in Iran after the 1979 revolution (Niavaran concert hall, 1999). As a child, she began studying Persian classical music with the famous Iranian Diva Parissa and later with renowned masters Parviz Meshkatian and Mohammad-Reza Lotfi. She has had numerous performances in Europe and North America and has garnered many invitations by prestigious institutions, including UNESCO, the Vatican and international media such as BBC and RAI.

In 2016, Ms. Raissadat was awarded a Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies in support of her Rameshgari Project, which aims to rehabilitate the nearly forgotten traditional collaborative form of tasnif-composing. Ms. Raissadat obtained a B.A. degree in painting in Iran and holds a B.Mus degree from the University of Bologna and an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto. She is currently continuing her doctoral studies in Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto.

The UW Ethnomusicology’s visiting artist program has been a hallmark of the department for more than 50 years, bringing highly accomplished musicians to the university to work with students in applied music courses and public performances. Students study with artists from Afghanistan, China, India, Ireland, Korea, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Tanzania, and elsewhere.

Read more about Sepideh Raissadat

Find out more about the Rameshgari Project

Learn more about UW School of Music

New Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund for Iranian Music at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is delighted to announce the establishment of the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund for Iranian Music in support of the Iranian Music Program over a two-year period at the Department of Ethnomusicology in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and the most celebrated program in the world for the study of diverse musical cultures.

The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund for Iranian Music will enable UCLA to revive a program for the study of classical Iranian music, called Music of Persia, and the Persian Music Ensemble that were both initiated by Professor Hormoz Farhat in 1967, but regrettably removed from the curriculum in 1993, due to lack of funding. Thanks to our Fund, Department of Ethnomusicology Lecturer in Music, Dr. Amir Hosein Pourjavady, and Assistant Professor Munir Berken are now offering a total of eight classes on the music of Iran and the Persian-speaking world, covering both practical and theoretical aspects of major musical cultures of Iran, and in particular classical music. Persian Music Ensemble and Persian Music Ensemble-Percussion classes are offered on a quarterly basis, culminating in a year-end concert, for academic years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

Dr. Pourjavady received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA, and his M.Phil. in Ethnomusicology from CUNY, Graduate Center. While at UCLA, he became the first recipient of the Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies (2003-2004). He is a former professor at the University of Tehran, and a performer and scholar of Persian music, with expertise on the setar and vocal music. He teaches the Persian Music Ensemble and all seminar classes associated with the Iranian Music Program. Assistant Professor Beken’s career spans theory, composition, ethnomusicology (including the musics of Iran and Turkey) and performance. As a composer, he has written a state-commissioned ballet suite for orchestra, won awards for film music, and scored television documentaries. His scholarly work focuses on modal theory; he is also conducting research on music globalization and the phenomenology of music. He was one of the founding members of the State Turkish Music Ensemble.

Find more about the Persian Music Ensemble

Learn more about UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Intertwined Histories and Perspectives: Contrapuntal Reading of ʿAṭṭār, A Book Talk by Dr. Claudia Yaghoobi at UNC Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present a talk by Dr. Claudia Yaghoobi on her new book, Subjectivity in ʿAṭṭār, Persian Sufism, and European Mysticism (Purdue University Press, 2017), on January 29, 2018, at the UNC FedEx Global Education Center.

By looking at ʿAṭṭār’s poetry contrapuntally with medieval European literature and modern theory, this talk will map out the ways ʿAṭṭār’s poetry interacts with itself within the Persian cultural and historical framework as well as with medieval European culture and modern Western theoretical perspectives in regard to the concepts of transgression and the breaking of taboos, and the construction of subjectivity. Traversing linguistic, national, and disciplinary boundaries, this talks calls into question the presumed differences between Medieval Islam and the West and makes possible a rich dialogue between civilizations that have historically been pitted against one another.

Dr. Claudia Yaghoobi is Roshan Institute Assistant Professor in Persian Studies and Persian Coordinator in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research subjects include Persian literature, Iranian “woman question,” minorities in Iran, contemporary Middle Eastern literature, diasporic literature, literary theory, and gender and sexuality studies.

The book talk is free and open to the public.

Monday, January 29, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Room 1009, FedEx Global Education Center | UNC Chapel Hill

Learn more about UNC Persian Program

Two New Spring 2018 Courses offered by the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona

The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS) recently announced the addition of two new courses for the Spring 2018 semester.

Islamic Spirituality through the Poetry of Rumi (MENA/PRS 353) will be taught by Dr. Austin O’Malley, the initial Roshan Institute Assistant Professor in Persian and Iranian Studies at the UA’s Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Persian and Iranian Studies. This course takes the life, teachings, and poetry of Rumi, a central figure in the Persian Sufi tradition, as a starting point for a broader investigation into medieval Islamic spirituality, society, and literature. We also consider Rumi’s legacy in the modern period, including the many translations of his works and his reception by practitioners of New Age spirituality. Assessments include a final culminating project and short weekly presentations. It is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Genealogies of ISIS (MENA/POL 344) will be taught by Dr. Leila Hudson, Associate Professor in Modern Middle East Culture and Political Economy, at MENAS. Her course will examine the emergence and growth of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In addition to examining its origins, key figures, and milestones, the course will situate the organization in history, culture, and radicalization processes using a critical genealogical approach, paying special attention to the centrality of gender and sexuality, social media, and both local and global recruitment and net-works. Students will write a critical book review, an annotated bibliography of the emergent literature on a specific subject and design a research project using primary source material.

Students can have a minor in Persian by taking 18 units of these or other courses offered in upcoming semesters at the University of Arizona. The Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Persian and Iranian Studies also offers M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Persian and Iranian Studies.

Learn more about Roshan GIDP

New Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellowship in Iranian Linguistics at UCLA

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is excited to announce its second endowment to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the establishment of a new Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellowship in Iranian Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics in the Division of Humanities.

The UCLA Linguistics Department’s doctoral program has consistently been ranked as one of the top two or three such programs in the U.S. The Department began as an interdepartmental graduate master’s program in 1960. A doctoral program was introduced in 1962, a bachelor’s program was added in 1965, and the department was formally established in 1966.

The postdoctoral fellowship will be awarded for a two-year term with the possibility of a one-year extension. The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellow will be expected to teach courses and conduct research on the linguistic heritage of Iran, focused on Persian and Iranian languages.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is proud to partner again with UCLA Division of Humanities, where the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies has been established since 2002.

Read the press release

Learn more about UCLA Department of Linguistics

Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Symposium on Persian Language and Literature: Persian Literature Unbound at UC Irvine, November 10, 2017

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to sponsor the all-day conference, titled The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Symposium on Persian Language and Literature: Persian Literature Unbound on Friday, November 10, 2017, 9:45 am – 6 pm, in UC Irvine’s Humanities Gateway (HG) 1010.

This event is organized by Dr. Nasrin Rahimieh, Howard Baskerville Professor of Comparative Literature at UC Irvine’s School of Humanities. The participants in this conference are invited to reflect on possibilities of redrawing the temporal, geographic, generic, and methodological boundaries that have delimited what we consider to be the proper domain of Persian literature and how we produce knowledge about it. At the event, participants will address questions, such as: What types of writing can be considered literature? How might we rethink periodization? Can Persian literature be read across linguistic and national boundaries? How might we study and teach Middle Persian and Persian literature within the broader framework of world literature? The participants will also be invited to contribute to a volume of essays to be published after the symposium.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Find out more about the Symposium

Translating Islam: A Conference in Honor of Carl Ernst, October 6-7, 2017, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce the two-day conference, “Translating Islam: A Conference in Honor of Carl Ernst,” that will take place on October 6-7, 2017, at UNC Chapel Hill. Carl W. Ernst is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Islamic studies at the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Persian Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has devoted his academic life to the study of three areas: general and critical issues of Islamic studies, pre-modern and contemporary Sufism, and Indo-Muslim culture. From his first book, Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (1985), to his most recent book, co-edited with Fabrizio Speziale, Perso-Indica: An Analytical Survey of Persian Works on Indian Learned Traditions (2017), he has focused on how Islamic concepts have traveled across time and space.

This conference, organized around themes in Islamic studies that Professor Ernst’s work has addressed, evokes and expands on the major contributions of this fertile, creative translator of texts, ideas, and traditions within the orb of Islam. Topics of the panels include: Islam at large, Indo-Muslim ventures, Translations issues, Sufi studies, and Islamic studies. A Persian Classical Music concert by the Rohab Ensemble will take place on Friday night, at the UNC Stone Center Auditorium. The Rohab Ensemble brings three acclaimed maestros from the celebrated Dastan Ensemble – Hossein Behroozinia (barbat – lute), Saeed Farajpoori (kamancheh – spike fiddle), and Behnam Samani (tombak – goblet drum), together with Hamid Behrouzinia (tar – lute) and will be accompanied by the lilting voice of Sepideh Raissadat (Roshan Institute Fellow, 2016).

Organized by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East, the conference is free and open to the public; however, registration is requested.

Find more about the Conference

New Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran at the University of California, Irvine

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is delighted to announce its first endowment to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) for the establishment −with additional funding from the UC Regents’ Presidential Matching Chairs Fund− of a new Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran at the School of Humanities.

The new Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran will have expertise in the three dynasties of the ancient Persian world: Achaemenid, Arsacid and Sasanian (550 BCE-650 CE). The new Chair will enhance the robust study of the ancient world pursued by a number of departments in the School of Humanities, including History, Classics, and Persian and Iranian Studies. In addition to teaching, the new scholar will conduct extensive research, author publications, and hold or participate in scholarly conferences and related events.

The new faculty member will report to both the Dean of School of Humanities and the Chair of the Department of Art History, and will collaborate with the UCI Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture. Founded in 2009, the UCI Jordan Center is a hub for interdisciplinary research projects that bridge the arts, humanities, engineering, medicine, and the sciences with Persian studies. Students can minor in Persian Studies and take courses in both ancient and modern Iran.

Recruitment for the inaugural chair holder is planned for the coming 2017-2018 academic year. Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is proud to partner with UCI, relying on its excellence in academic strength and knowing that this endowment will benefit generations of faculty and students pursuing Persian and Iranian Studies.

Read the press release

Learn more about UCI School of Humanities

Congratulations to Dr. Anousha Sedighi on her Promotion to the Rank of Full Professor at Portland State University

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute would like to congratulate Dr. Anousha Sedighi on her appointment to the rank of Full Professor of Persian and Head of the Persian program at Portland State University in Oregon. Dr. Sedighi founded the Persian program in 2005 and launched the Persian minor, the only minor in the state of Oregon, in 2011. Dr. Sedighi’s areas of research are Persian linguistics, Persian language pedagogy, and Persian as a heritage language. She has published two books, Agreement Restrictions in Persian (Rozenberg & Purdue, 2008), which was re-published in 2011 by Leiden University and the University of Chicago Press, and Persian in Use: An Elementary Textbook of Language and Culture (Leiden University, 2015) for which she received a Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies in 2010.

Persian in Use is an elementary Persian language and culture textbook designed for first-year Persian language students at the college level. It offers a thematically organized and integrative approach to help students achieve proficiency in Persian language and culture. This publication is organized around high-frequency topics and provides a clear set of communication goals for each lesson.

Persian in Use has been re-published for the fourth time since 2015 due to popular demand and is currently used at more than 20 universities in the U.S. as well as internationally in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Canada.

Find more about Persian in Use

Congratulations to 2017-2018 Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellows at UC Irvine

Two UCI Ph.D. students, Deanna Kashani and Soodabeh Malekzadeh, have each been awarded the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies for the completion of their doctoral degrees during academic year 2017-2018.

Ms. Kashani is a Ph.D. candidate in Visual Studies. Her dissertation, entitled “Beyond the Framed Image: Contemporary Iranian Art from Production to Exhibition,” is the first comprehensive study of contemporary Iranian art exhibition structures inside Iran in English. She compares institutionalized, underground, and public art exhibition spaces within Iran to demonstrate how these sites and their agendas influence the production and propagation of art and art historical knowledge. Through the use of art historical and ethnographic methodologies and a diverse set of exhibition case studies, she reveals that the Iranian art world is trying to define itself and its future as experimental, autonomous, and connected with the interests of the local community.

A Ph.D. candidate in History, Ms. Malekzadeh focuses her interests on ancient Persia. Her dissertation, “Bahram V: The Romantic Hunter-King or a Judeo-Arab Emperor?” centers on the history of the Sasanian empire during the early fifth century using a biographical lens that reexamines the life and legacy of Bahram V and his father Yazdegird I. The reign of Bahram V is only mentioned in passing in monographs that cover a general history of the Sasanian Empire. Malekzadeh’s dissertation fills this gap by providing a comprehensive research on the biography of Bahram V, his legacy in art and literature, and finally, the role of his historical depiction in modern national propaganda. Her study promises to be useful to scholars interested in the history of the Sasanian period, as well as the political, and social history of early fifth-century Persia.

Read the press release

Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship Awarded by the Louvre Museum

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute would like to welcome Mrs. Carol Guillaume to the Louvre where she will assist Mrs. Gwenaëlle Fellinger, Curator in the Department of Islamic Art, with the organization of a major international exhibition on Qajar Art in 2018. Though French museums are rich in art from the Qajar period (1781 to 1925), most Iranian collections are not well known to the public. To remedy to this gap, Mrs. Fellinger has been conducting since 2012 an in-depth study of the Qajar collections kept in regional museums of France. Her study will culminate, with the assistance of our Fellow, to a major exhibition that will bring to light nearly 500 unpublished artworks preserved in national and private collections.

The Qajar Art Exhibition will run from March 28 to July 22, 2017, at the annex of the Louvre Museum in Lens, North of France. Along with the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, Mrs. Fellinger and Guillaume will organize an international colloquium on Qajar Art in June 2018 at Louvre-Lens. The two-day colloquium will enable scholars to study specific subjects that cannot be explained in depth in the exhibition nor in the catalogue. Papers from the colloquium will be published in 2019.

Mrs. Guillaume is a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, where she specialized in Art History with an emphasis on Qajar collections.
Her fellowship period is from September 2017 to August 2018.

Find more about the Department of Islamic Art at the Louvre

Roshan Institute Fellows and Recent Accomplishments

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is delighted to share news about some of its Fellows and their recent accomplishments.

Nicholas Boylston obtained his Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies from Georgetown University. His area of specialization is Persian literature and Islamic intellectual history through the lenses of religious, intellectual and literary pluralism, and he wrote his dissertation on “Writing the Kaleidoscope of Reality, the Significance of Diversity in 6th-12th century Persian Metaphysical Literature: Sana’i, ‘Attar and ‘Ayn al-Qudat Hamadani.” Dr. Boylston is currently Lecturer (half-time) in the Committee on the Study of Religion, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and Visiting Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, at Harvard University.

Safoura Nourbakhsh successfully defended her dissertation on “Expressions of Gender and Sexuality in Persian Sufism” and completed her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland (UMD). Dr. Nourbakhsh is the Project Manager of the Persian translation and adaptation of Our Bodies, Ourselves, a digital interactive project hosted by UMD.

Vahideh Rasekhi (Linguistics, Stony Brook University) and Tytus Mikolajczak (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago) are also making progress toward the completion of their doctoral dissertations.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute would like to commend all Fellows for their contributions to Persian Studies scholarship and wishes them continued success.

New Grant to hold annual Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Symposia and Lectures at UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is delighted to announce a new grant to hold three annual programs at the UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, under the leadership of Professor Touraj Daryaee, UCI Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and Culture. Professor Daryaee, in collaboration with the new Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran, will organize the annual Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Symposium on Ancient Iranian History and Civilization; while Nasrin Rahimieh, UCI Howard Baskerville Professor of Humanities, will organize the annual Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Symposium on Persian Language and Literature. The first symposium is planned for the fall quarter 2017, and the second symposium will be held in the spring quarter 2018. In conjunction with each symposium, the senior scholar will give a public Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Lecture, which will be open to the Orange County community. The lectures will be recorded and available online.

Professor Daryaee is a specialist in Iranian history, in particular the Sasanian Empire, and has been teaching in the Department of History at UCI since 2007. In 2015, he was appointed Director of the UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, which serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research projects that bridge the arts, humanities, engineering, medicine, and the sciences with Persian studies. Since its inception in 2009, the center has hosted numerous conferences on the Iranian world, established research clusters uniting scholars on the study of the Tehran Project, alternative music, the Digital Archive of Middle Persian Inscriptions, and Sasanika (Late Antique Iran Project) and established an online peer-reviewed Journal, DABIR, dedicated to the study of Iran and related material.

Read more about UCI Jordan Center

Great Fall 2017 Courses offered by the Persian Program at the University of Arizona

Roshan Institute Chair in Persian and Iranian Studies, Kamran Talattof, recently announced the full line-up of fall semester courses at the University of Arizona. Elementary, intermediate and advanced Persian language will be offered as well as courses in Persian media, Persian fiction, Iranian cinema, and Persian Literature.

A new course, “Poetry for the Prince: Medieval Persian Literature and the Royal Court,” will be taught by Dr. Austin O’Malley, the new Roshan Institute Assistant Professor in Persian and Iranian Studies at the Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Persian and Iranian Studies (Roshan GIDP). The course will investigate literary representations of kingship, explore the function of poetry in Medieval Iranian court settings, and study literary and courtly practices in historical context. It is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Students can have a minor in Persian by taking 18 units of these or other courses offered in upcoming semesters at the University of Arizona. The Roshan GIDP also offers M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Persian and Iranian Studies.

Learn more about Poetry for the Prince course

Learn more about Roshan GIDP

Congratulations to 2017-2018 Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellow at UCLA

Naveed Mansoori has been awarded the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies for the completion of his dissertation during academic year 2017-2018. Mr. Mansoori is a Ph.D. student in Political Science at UCLA. His dissertation entitled, “In Medias Res: Media, Representation, and Authority in Iran, 1941-2009,” focuses on a varied but unified group of writers -Sadeq Hedayat, Ali Shariati and Ahmad Fardid (1909-1994)– who all envisaged their projects as the creation, or recreation, of an Iran which possessed an authentic, Islamic (Shi’a) identity. Mr. Mansoori is expected to defend his dissertation in June 2018.

Established in UCLA Division of Humanities, the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies is intended to support one graduate student each year from across the humanities or social sciences who has an approved dissertation topic focusing on Persian studies.

Learn more about the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fellowship at UCLA

Video of the Library of Congress Symposium “From Oxus to Euphrates: The Sasanian Empire” available online

The African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress (AMED), in cooperation with the Iranian-American Alumni of the Alborz High School, presented “From Oxus to Euphrates: The Sasanian Empire,” a day-long symposium open to the public, on June 7, 2017. The event was part of an annual series of symposia on the ancient civilizations of the Near East organized by AMED at the Library of Congress. The video of the entire symposium is now available on the Library’s webcast page and on YouTube.

The Sasanians ruled a large empire in Central and Western Asia, stretching from the Oxus River to the Euphrates and from the Hindukush to Eastern Arabia, for over 400 years (224-651 CE). Known as Iranshahr (the Domain of Iran), it was a powerful empire that engendered much of what came to be known as the Iranian culture in the medieval and modern periods.

The Symposium featured three panels of experts and scholars in the fields of ancient and classical history, Persian studies, and Central Asian and Near Eastern religious and confessional traditions. Hirad Dinavari, Library of Congress Iranic world reference specialist, moderated one of the three panels along with Mary-Jane Deeb, chief of AMED and Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz, Roshan Institute Chair and Director of Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, at the University of Maryland School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Panel One focused on the history of Iranshahr, with presentations by Roshan Institute Fellow, Dr. Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine; Dr. Stephen H. Rapp Jr., Sam Houston State University; and Dr. Khodadad Rezakhani, Princeton University. Panel Two was on Peoples and Religions of the Sasanian Realm, and included presentations by Dr. Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina, University of Toronto; Dr. Scott McDonough, William Paterson University; and Dr. Simcha Gross, University of California, Irvine. Panel Three focused on the art and culture in the Sasanian period and beyond, with presentations by Dr. Samra Elodie Azarnouche, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes; Dr. Judith A. Lerner, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World; and Roshan Institute Fellow, Dr. Ida Meftahi, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland.

View the video of the Symposium on the Library of Congress webcast page

View the video of the Symposium on YouTube

Congratulations to Roshan Institute Fellow, Dr. Payman Vafaee, on his new appointment at Columbia University

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to share the news that Dr. Payman Vafaee has just been appointed as full-time Lecturer at Columbia University in the Department of Applied Linguistics. He will be teaching M.A. and Ph.D. level courses in Second Language Assessment, Second Language Acquisition and Quantitative Research Methods. Dr. Vafaee has also recently been appointed Director of Research and Development at Second Language Testing Inc., in Princeton, NJ, where he focuses on the development of tests of language skills and the translation of standardized tests.

Dr. Vafaee earned his Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park, in 2016. While at UMD, he taught Persian classes at the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, under the leadership of Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz, and was awarded a Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies for the completion of his doctoral dissertation, “The Relative Significance of Syntactic and Vocabulary Knowledge in Second Language Listening Comprehension”. Dr. Vafaee has publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and has presented at numerous international conferences.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute extends its congratulations to Dr. Vafaee for his achievements and to Professor Keshavarz for her excellent work in carrying out the mission of the Institute.

News from the Persian Language and Culture Studies Program at CSU Fresno

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute would like to congratulate the nine recipients of Roshan Institute Scholarship for Excellence in Persian Studies at California State University, Fresno for the 2016-17 academic year. While these students are pursuing degrees in a wide variety of subjects, they have all demonstrated a deep interest and commitment to learning and sharing Persian language and culture.

Courses in the Persian Language and Culture Studies program at CSU Fresno are taught by Dr. Partow Hooshmandrad, Roshan Institute Endowed Faculty in Persian Language and Culture. In Fall 2017, Dr. Hooshmandrad will be on leave from CSU Fresno. She has been awarded a Visiting Scholar position at UC Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies for the duration of her sabbatical leave. During this period she is planning to begin the process of writing a book on the musical culture of the Kurdish Ahl-e Haqq (AH) of the Guran region in Iran, and continue her performance studies on the AH musical repertoire. Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute congratulates Dr. Hooshmandrad and wishes her a productive semester while at UC Berkeley.

Middle East Studies Lecturer, Dr. Negin Tahvildary will be teaching Persian language and culture courses while Dr. Hooshmandrad is on leave in Fall 2017. She will also be coordinating a number of events to promote Persian culture including musical performance, film screenings, lectures and other activities.

Read more about Persian Studies at CSU Fresno