Drawing on poems, songs, and films in addition to theoretical texts, this course retraces the struggle for a modern poetic language in Iran from the time of the Constitutional Revolution (1905/6) to the Islamic Revolution (1978/79), and beyond. Topics include: the unresolved relationship between tradition and modernity; poetry as a vehicle of enlightenment and revolution; the quest for a new poetic expression of love; the emerging possibility of a female voice in Persian poetry; the construction of historical memory through literature; responses to the experience of modern alienation; the figure of the poet as dissident; and the subversive force of poetic form itself. Poets to be read are Iraj, Bahar, Nima, Shamlu, Sepehri, Akhavan Sales, Forugh, and Esma'il Kho'i as well as some non-canonical figures. Open to undergraduates and graduates. Taught in English.