Skip to content Skip to navigation

Conference: The Life and Work of Shahrokh Meskoob

October 29, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Ali Banuazizi
Bahram Beyzaie
Reza Farokhfal
M.R. Ghanoonparvar
Hassan Kamshad
Sorour Kasmai
Abbas Milani
C. Ryan Perkins
Event Sponsor: 
Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies, Stanford University Libraries
Photo of Shahrokh Meskoob

Scholars discuss the life and work of Shahrokh Meskoob, one of modern Iran’s most respected and acclaimed public intellectuals, literary critics, and memoirists. His papers were recently donated to Stanford’s Green Library and include hundreds of letters from some of Iran’s most prominent intellectuals, thousands of pages of notes, and first drafts of many of his manuscripts. This conference celebrates the launch of the archive. Links to panelist presentations will be emailed one week before the discussion. Join the live Zoom webinar on October 29th for a discussion with the panelists, chaired by Dr. C. Ryan Perkins, Stanford University. 

Explore Small Selection of Digitized Meskoob Archive Material at the Green Library 



Ali Banuazizi: Shahrokh Meskoob and the Question of Iranian Cultural Identity 

Photo of Ali Banuazizi

Ali Banuazizi is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and Director of the Program in Islamic Civilization & Societies. After receiving his Ph. D. from Yale University in 1968, he taught at Yale and the University of Southern California before joining the Boston College Faculty in 1971. Since then, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Tehran, Princeton, Harvard, and Oxford University, and M.I.T. He served as the founding editor of the Journal of Iranian Studies from 1968 to 1982. He is a past President of the Association for Iranian Studies (AIS), of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), and Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2016).

Ali Banuazizi is the author of numerous articles on society, culture, and politics of Iran and the Middle East, and the co-author (with A. Ashraf) of Tabaqat-e ijtima’i, dowlat va enqelab dar Iran [Social Classes, the State and Revolution in Iran] (1387/2008) and co-editor (with Myron Weiner) of three books on politics, religion and society in Southwest and Central Asia.



Bahram Beyzaie: Shahrokh Meskoob's Reading of Mythology 

Photo of Bahram Beyzaie

Bahram Beyzaie is one of Iran's most acclaimed filmmakers, playwrights, and scholars of the history of Iranian theater, both secular and religious. He was a leader of the generation of filmmakers known as the Iranian New Wave, beginning in the late 1960s, and has since directed more than a dozen prize-winning films. He has also conducted pioneering research into the roots of ancient legends derived from Indo-Iranian mythology and known collectively as A Thousand and One Nights. He is that rare artist who is also an erudite critic and scholar of his myriad crafts. Born in Tehran, Beyzaie was for many years the head of the Theatre Arts Department at Tehran University. His two-volume study of the history of Iranian theatre is still considered the authoritative account of this history. Since his arrival at Stanford as the Bita Daryabari Lecturer of Iranian Studies, he has staged several of his plays and given workshops on Iranian mythology and cinema. He currently teaches courses on Iranian theatre and cinema. (Click "CC" on video for English subtitles).



Reza Farokhfal: Shahrokh Meskoob: A Contemporary Voice Who is Still Contemporary

Photo of Reza Farokhfal

Reza Farokhfal is a published writer in his home country of Iran. His fictional works as well as his works in literary theory and cultural studies have appeared in various literary periodicals and anthologies. He has taught Persian Language at McGill University (Canada), University of Wisconsin in Madison, and at Colorado University in Boulder. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book Persian: Here and Now, a course book in two volumes for Farsi (Persian) language which has been adopted by the Stanford University Persian language program amongst other prestigious academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He recently published a monograph on the poetics of ‘ gheseh قصه’ in Hafez’s poetry.



M.R. Ghanoonparvar: Translating Shahrokh Meskoob: In Pursuit of Iranian Cultural Identity

Photo of M.R. Ghanoonparvar

M.R. Ghanoonparvar is Professor Emeritus of Persian and Comparative Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. He has also taught at the University of Isfahan, the University of Virginia, and the University of Arizona, and was a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of Michigan. He has published widely on Persian literature and culture in both English and Persian and is the author of Prophets of Doom: Literature as a Socio-Political Phenomenon in Modern Iran (1984), In a Persian Mirror: Images of the West and Westerners in Iranian Fiction (1993), Translating the Garden (2001), Reading Chubak (2005), Persian Cuisine: Traditional, Regional and Modern Foods (2006), Iranian Film and Persian Fiction (2016), and Dining at the Safavid Court(2016). He has also translated and edited numerous volumes. He was the recipient of the 2008 Lois Roth Prize for Literary Translation. His forthcoming book is Literary Diseases in Persian Literature, and his forthcoming translations include Hamid Shokat’s Caught in the Crossfire: A Political Biography of Qavamossaltaneh, Moniro Ravanipour’s These Crazy Nights, and Shahrnush Parsipur’s Blue Logos.



Hassan Kamshad: 63 Years of Friendship 

Photo of Hassan Kamshad

Hassan Kamshad was born in Isfahan, Iran, in 1925. He entered Tehran University, Faculty of Law, and graduated in 1947. After graduating, he was employed by the National Iranian Oil Company and worked in Khuzestan and Tehran. In 1954 he was invited by Cambridge University to teach Persian language and literature. While at Cambridge he worked towards his PhD and wrote his dissertation on contemporary Persian prose, which was later published in England, under the title of Modern Persian Prose Literature. After five years at Cambridge he returned to Iran and spent the rest of his career in the oil company. He was also a visiting professor at the UCLA in the 1960s. In retirement he began writing and translating. More than thirty of these have been published in Iran and abroad. (Click "CC" on video for English subtitles).



Sorour Kasmai: Leaving, Remaining, Returning: The Question of Form in Three of Shahrokh Meskoob’s Narrative Texts

Photo of Sorour Kasmai

Novelist, translator and publisher, Sorour Kasmaï was born in Tehran. In 1983, following the Iranian revolution, she left her country illegally. She arrived in Paris and studied Russian language and literature. In 1987, she studied Russian theater in Pushkin Institute in Moscow. Passionate about theater, she became, a few years later, a translator and interpreter of Russian on stage and at the Paris Opera. At the same time, she worked on Tajik oral literature and published a series of CDs of folk and traditional music from Tajikistan. In 2002, at her initiative, Shahrokh Meskoob started his seminary about Shahnameh in Paris for two and a half years. In the same year, her first novel, The Glass Cemetery, was published by Actes Sud. She also founded and directed, with the same publisher, the collection “Horizons Persans” (Persian Horizons) dedicated to Iranian and Afghan literature. Since then, she has published The Valley of the Eagles (Adelf Award 2007) and A Day Before the End of the World. She also translated into French several novels and short stories from her compatriots, including My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezechkzad and Leaving, Remaining, Returning by Shahrokh Meskoob. Her latest novel, Enemy of God was published in March 2020 by Robert Laffont. She writes and publishes her novels in Persian and French. (Click "CC" on video for English subtitles).



Abbas Milani: Shahrokh Meskoob and Modernity 

Photo of Abbas Milani

Abbas Milani is the Director of the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies, an Adjunct Professor, and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. His expertise is U.S.-Iran relations as well as Iranian cultural, political, and security issues. Milani is the author of Modernity and Its Foes in Iran (Gardon Press, 1998); The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution (Mage, 2000); Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Persian Modernity in Iran in English (Mage 2004) and Persian (Ketob Corp. 2004); Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir (Mage, 2006); The Myth of the Great Satan (Hoover Institution Press, 2010); The Shah (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), his own Persian version of the book has also been published inside and outside Iran. Culture and Politics in Contemporary Iran (Lynne Rienner, 2015) was co-edited with Larry Diamond. Most recently, Milani edited and wrote the introduction for A Window into Modern Iran: The Ardeshir Zahedi Papers at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives (Hoover Institution Press, 2019), and Saadi and Humanism (Zemestan, Tehran, 2019) with Maryam Mirzadeh. Milani has also translated numerous books and articles into Persian and English. He has published more than 200 essays and book reviews in journals and papers.




C. Ryan Perkins

Photo of C. Ryan Perkins

C. Ryan Perkins teaches on the history of South Asia.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania's Department of South Asia Studies in 2011.  He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Chicago from 2011-2013 and in Indian History and Culture at the University of Oxford until September 2014 where he also served as course director for their M.Phil program in Modern South Asian Studies.  He joined Stanford University in 2015 as the librarian for South Asian Studies and also serves as the Islamic Studies Librarian.  As a historian of South Asia and the Persianate world, his research focuses on the social, cultural, and literary history of the region from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.  His articles appear in The Indian Economic and Social History ReviewModern Asian Studies, and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.  He is currently completing his book manuscript on the birth of the Islamic public in British India.


Zoom webinar
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: