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Christopher de Bellaigue

Muhammad Mossadegh: Patriot of Persia

Jan 8 2013 - 18:30
Christopher de Bellaigue was born in London in 1971 and was raised in the United Kingdom. In 1995 he graduated in Indian and Persian Studies from Cambridge University and started working as a journalist in India. Since then, he has written from the Middle East, Turkey and South Asia for, among others, the Economist, the New York Review of Books, the Financial Times, the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, Harpers and the Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs (HarperCollins, 2005), The Struggle for Iran (New York Review Books, 2007), Rebel Land (Penguin ...
Dogtown Redemption Film Poster

Graphic Novels and Iranian Art: the Case of Zahra's Paradise

Dec 4 2012 - 18:30
Amir Soltani is a graphic novelist, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist.  He is the co-creator of "Zahra's Paradise", a NYT bestselling graphic novel published as an interactive real-time webcomic (please see  "Zahra's Paradise" is fiction based on the true story of an Iranian woman, whose son vanishes after the 2009 protests against Iran's fraudulent elections.  "Zahra's Paradise" was nominated for an Eisner Award and has been translated into 16 languages.  Amir has worked in business, media, nonprofits and philanthropy.  He is the executive ...

Iran's 'Wilsonian Moment'? - Iran's Responses to World War I

Nov 15 2012 - 18:30
Oliver Bast, Dr. phil., Maître-ès-Lettres, is Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Middle Eastern History and Persian at the University of Manchester where he served as head of the department of Middle Eastern Studies between 2008 and 2011. He read History and Persian Studies in Berlin (Humboldt-Universität), in Tehran (University of Tehran), in Paris (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3) and in Bamberg (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg). Bast holds a joint doctorate (thèse en co-tutelle) from the Sorbonne and Bamberg. During the Academic Year 2011-2012 he was Visiting Fellow ...
Cover of play by Yalfani

Iranian Theater in Diaspora: A Playwright's Retrospective

Oct 23 2012 - 18:30
Born and educated in Iran, Mohsen Yalfani is one of the most respected playwrights of Iran. He first established his reputation in the years before the revolution when his plays where known for their unflinching approach to social problems of the time. He spent several years in prison during the Shah's regime and in the early months and years of the 1979 revolution, he was one of the leaders of Iran's Writers Association. Forced into exile, he has continued writing plays. He lives and works in Paris and has been one of the leading voices of the Iranian Writers Association in Exile.
Cover of book by FARZIN VEJDANI

Everyday Crime in the Sacred Shrine City of Mashhad, 1913-14

Oct 16 2012 - 18:30
Farzin Vejdani is an Assistant Professor of modern Iranian history at the University of Arizona. He received his PhD in history from Yale University (2009). His research interests broadly cover late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Iranian intellectual and cultural history, including Ottoman-Iranian cultural relations, Persian language policy, and Iranian nationalist historiography. He is currently preparing a manuscript entitled "Purveyors of the Past: Education, Publics and the Writing of History in Iran, 1860-1940." His recent publications include "Crafting Constitutional Narratives ...

Love, Rights, and Honor: Gender and Democracy in Iran

Oct 1 2012 - 18:30
Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iranian politics has conventionally been viewed as a polarized conflict between “secular” and “Islamic” ideologies. I argue that this view has masked the real battle, which has been between despotism and patriarchy, on the one hand, and democracy and feminism, on the other. The century-old struggle for democracy in Iran has been enmeshed in the dynamics of changing relations between sexuality, theology and politics. In this light I re-examine the course of the 2009 presidential elections and their aftermath. Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini is a legal anthropologist, ...

Developments in Classical Persian Music over the Last Fifty Years

Mar 27 2012 - 18:30
For two generations of Iranians, their most personal moments of the sublime, and their most public expressions of social exuberance, their joys of love and their pains of separation have been inseparable from the tender and thunderous voice and music of Mohammad-Reza Shajarian. Whether reciting lines from a prayer or singing one of Khayam’s Quatrains, reviving an old song or putting to music one of the masterpieces of modern Persian poetry, his vast musical erudition, his unfailing aesthetic taste and his perfectionism combine to make it yet another part of his impressive collection of work. ...

Words, Not Swords: Iranian Women and the Freedom Movement

Mar 12 2012 - 18:30
Born and raised in Teheran, Iran, Farzaneh Milani attended French primary and secondary schools. She earned her BA in French Literature in 1970 from California State University at Hayward. Transferring to the University of California in Los Angeles, she completed her graduate studies in Comparative Literature in 1979. Her dissertation, Forugh Farrokhzad: A Feminist Perspective, was a critical study of the poetry of a pioneering Iranian woman poet. Milani taught Persian Language and Literature at UCLA for four years before coming to the University of Virginia in 1986. Past president of the ...
Cover of Father and Son

Persian Poetry in Los Angeles: Nostalgia vs. Cultural Adaptation

Feb 21 2012 - 18:30
Majid Naficy, Poet & Co-editor of Daftarhaye Kanoon Majid Naficy, the Arthur Rimbaud of Persian poetry, published his first poems in Jon-e Isfahan at age thirteen. Since then, he has put out more than 20 books of poems and essays in Persian. He fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife, Ezzat in Tehran. He lives in Los Angeles with his son, Azad, where the city of Venice has engraved a fragment of his poetry on a wall in Venice beach. Majid has published two collections of poetry, "Muddy Shoes" (Beyond Baroque Books 1999) and "Father and Son" (Red Hen Press, ...