October 19th: Hoda Katebi

Bā salām,

Friends and colleagues, this week, the University of Chicago’s Persian Circle are very pleased to be hosting author and political fashion blogger Hoda Katebi, who will be giving a talk entitled:

Now Trending: The Politics of Fashion in Tehran
[This talk will be in English]

Thursday 19th October, 5-6.30pm, Pick Hall 218
(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)

Talk abstract: Fashion is political; it reflects gender norms, production methods, and can map political tensions onto the body. And in Iran, the world of fashion is infinitely more complicated. Through an exploration of the underground fashion scene and the new government-approved modeling agencies in Tehran, we will examine the intimate intersections of fashion, feminism, gender, and the nation in modern-day Iran.

Hoda Katebi is a Chicago-based Muslim-Iranian author, community organizer, and political fashion blogger. Her blog JooJoo Azad (http://www.joojooazad.com/) has been praised from NPR to Teen Vogue and renders fashion political and politics, radical. In 2016 she published the book Tehran Streetstyle, the first-ever in-print collection of streetstyle photography from Iran aimed to challenge both Western Orientalism and domestic Iranian mandatory dress codes. Hoda’s work has been featured across various media outlets internationally. 

Be omīd-e dīdār,


October 12th: Kimia Maleki

Salaam bar hamegi!
This week, Persian Circle are pleased to host Kimia Maleki, who will be discussing an exhibition she recently curated entitled “Sedentary Fragmentation”, which concerned the history of the Iranian arts scene in Chicago.
The exhibition is no longer running, so this will be a great opportunity for those of you who missed it to learn more about Kimia’s work and the history of the Iranian community in Chicago.
We hope to see you there!
Full details:


“​Sedentary Fragmentation” 

​تجزیه ی ساکن

[This talk will be in Persian]

Pick Hall 218
5828 S. University Ave
Chicago, IL 60540
In 1952 an Iranian-Assyrian student Hannibal Alkhas came to the U.S to study medicine, but decided instead to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.​ ​Having experienced the Midwestern art scene, he returned to Iran and started teaching at art universities, becoming one of the pioneers of Iranian contemporary art. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, many families moved to the U.S to seek a better life. These families stayed and gave birth to children who are now second generation Iranian-Americans. A few members of this generation have chosen to pursue art and have been constantly challenged by issues of identity due to their dual heritage. In 2010, despite financial hardship and sanctions, the next generation of artists came from Iran to pursue their graduate degrees in American art schools, which had been an uncommon choice for the previous 30 years.​ ​“Sedentary Fragmentation” tries to bring together Iranian voices, generations, and alumni who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but whose practices are individual and different.
Kimia Maleki (M.A., Arts Administration and Policy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2016; B.A., University of the Arts, Tehran, 2012) is interested in historiography, archiving, and curatorial practice, especially as pertains to Iran. She recently completed an M.A. thesis entitled “State of Art Archiving in Iran: Now & Then.” and curated two exhibitions: “Islamic Art at the Art Institute: A Century of Exhibitions and Acquisitions” (Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016) and “Sedentary Fragmentation” (Heaven Gallery, 2017).
Be omid-e didar,

September 28th: Zach Winters

Farsi-guyan-e mohtaram-e Chicago,

Salam va khosh amadid be aghaz-e fasl-e jadid!

Please join us for the first Persian Circle of the quarter! Zach Winters (NELC) will be giving a talk (in Persian) on Thursday, September 28 at 5-6.30pm in Pick 218, entitled:

آداب و نواب: فرهنگ فارسی زبانان در لکهنو

Zach Winters is a second year PhD student in the NELC department. He studied Mughal Persian in Lucknow, India, over the summer. He will talk about his experiences there, as well as his observations and insights into the history of Persianate culture in Lucknow.

Thursday, September 28th
5–6.30pm in Pick Hall 218
(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)

There will be tea, biscuits, and minimal ta’arof.

Be omid-e didar,


May 23rd: August Samie on Uzbekistan

انجمن سخن فارسی در دانشگاه شیکاگو
& the Turkish Circle  present

a talk in English by August Samie (NELC) on talk on Tuesday, May 23 at 4:30pm in Pick 218:

Modern Uzbeks: My Experience in Tashkent and Samarkand

ازبکان مدرن: تجربه من در سمرقند و تاشکند
Zamonaviy O’zbeklar: Tajribam Toshkent va Samarqandda

August Samie is a fourth-year doctoral student in NELC focusing on nation-building and historical memory. August first traveled to Uzbekistan in 2012 for research, then returned in the summer of 2013 as an interpreter for ASU’s summer intensive program in Persian and Uzbek. His talk brings together Persian Circle and Turkish Circle to discuss a brief history of this Persianate country, his time working in Tashkent and Samarqand, and some perspectives of how young Uzbeks view their nation. This talk will feature images and media from Uzbekistan.


There will be pizza, tea & sweets!

Tuesday, May 23
4:30 – 6pm in Pick Hall 218
(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)


See you there!
Alexandra, Julia, and Mariel

May 16: Mehrnaz Saeed-vafa on Abbas Kiarostami

Please join us for a Persian Circle talk on Tuesday, May 16 at 4:30pm with filmmaker Prof. Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa (Columbia College, Chicago):

کوتاه‌ترین راه

The Shortest Way

Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa is a filmmaker and a professor in the Cinema and Television Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago.  She has written extensively on Iranian cinema and has published her book on Abbas Kiarostami co-written with Jonathan Rosenbaum in 2003. In this talk, she will review Kiarostami’s career and his significance in world cinema. She will focus on some of his films including, Close-Up, The Traveler, Taste of Cherry, and The Wind Will Carry Us.


*This talk will be in Persian*

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
4:30 – 6pm in Pick Hall 218
(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)


May 9: Prof. Giusto Traina

انجمن سخن فارسی در دانشگاه شیکاگو

Please join us for a Persian Circle talk on Tuesday, May 9 at 4:30 PM with Dumanian Visiting Professor Giusto Traina (University of Paris-Sorbonne):

“Ardaxshīr I: The Armenian File”

When it comes to consider the Armenian sources, many Iranologists still follow the attitude of Arthur Christensen: although apparently neutral, the great Danish scholar made actually use of them the least possible. The Armenian evidence is suspect, not only because these texts are not contemporary, but also because they reflect a different perspective. In this paper, Prof. Traina will present the particular case of the rise of the Sasanians. The ‘Armenian file’ on this event consists of several passages of Agat‘angełos and Movsēs Xorenac’i, the main local sources for the history of ancient Armenia, and in a Greek text translated from Armenian but inspired by Pahlavi literature, the so-called Romance of Artawan and Artašir.

*This talk will be in English*

Tuesday, May 9
4:30 – 6pm in Pick Hall 218
(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)

There will be tea&sweets!

See you there,

Tues, April 25: Dr. Ramin Takloo-Bigash

Salaam! Please join us for a Persian Circle talk on Tuesday, April 25 at 4:30pm with
Dr. Ramin Takloo-Bighash (UIC):

فرایندهای دموکراتیک در قانون اساسی ایران

“Democratic processes of the Iranian constitution”

 In this talk, intended as a cautionary tale, Dr. Takloo-Bighash will describe the democratic processes present in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He will show that in an abstract sense the current Iranian system of government might be considered a democracy, even though in practice it is not. The talk ends with a discussion of some possible explanations for this discrepancy. 


Tuesday, April 25
4:30 – 6pm in Pick Hall 218
 (5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)

There will be tea & sweets!

Be omid-e didaar,

Spring Quarter schedule

Dear friends and colleagues,

Please join us for an exciting Spring Quarter at the Persian Circle, a weekly event for all students, faculty, and those interested in Persian and Iran. We will meet on Tuesdays, 4:30 pm – 6 pm in Pick Hall 218 (5828 S University Ave) and enjoy talks on a variety of topics by faculty, students, and professionals. Here is a list of our future events for Spring quarter, so mark your calendars:

April 3, workshop with Dr. Ulrich Marzolph (Georg-August Universität Göttingen)*: Traveling Tales: The Muslim World’s Contribution to World Narrative Lore. 2:30-4pm, Foster 103

April 4, Dr. Ulrich Marzolph (Georg-August Universität Göttingen)*: Relief after Hardship. The Ottoman Turkish Model for the Thousand and One Days. 4:30pm, Swift Lecture Hall, 3rd floor

The two events with Dr. Marzolph are co-sponsored by the MEHAT workshop, COSAS, the Islamic Studies workshop and the Department of Comparative Literature


April 11, Abolhassan Mokhtabad:      تبارشناسی شاهنامه خوانی در موسیقی ایران

April 18, Alex Shams (Uchicago, Anthropology)*:

Daughters of the Revolution: Iranian Women’s Access to Education in Khomeini’s Iran

دختران انقلاب: دسترسی زنان ایرانی‌ به تحصيلات در دهه شصت

April 25, Dr. Ramin Takloo-Bigash (UIC): Democratic processes in the Iranian system of government since 1906.

May 2, Dr. Saeed Ghahremani (Uchicago, NELC)*:

مخالف. زندانی. فراری. پناهنده.

زندگی در ایران قبل و بعد از انقلاب.

Dissident. Prisoner. Fugitive. Refugee.

Life in Iran before and after the Revolution.


May 9, Dr. Giusto Traina (Paris-Sorbonne University)*: Ardaxshīr I: The Armenian File.

May 16, Mehrnaz Saeedvafa (Columbia College Chicago):

کوتاه‌ترین راه به حقیقت

The Shortest Way to Truth

May 23: August Samie (Uchicago, NELC)*:

 ازبکان مدرن: تجربه من در سمرقند و تاشکند

Zamonaviy O’zbeklar: Tajribam Toshkent va Samarqandda

Modern Uzbeks: My Experience in Tashkent and Samarkand


May 30: Tang Tian (Uchicago, CMES)*:

اقامت من درایران به عنوان دانشجوی انتقالی

My Stay in Iran as an Exchange Student


*These sessions will be either be in English, in English and Persian, preceded by an introductory part in English for students, or the talk will be designed explicitly for students’ needs. Details will be announced for each talk.

Announcements for event details will be posted around Pick Hall and online, through the Persian list and others, as well as on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/uchicagopersiancircle/).

There will always be tea and sweets – so come, sit down, treat yourself and be a part of the Persian speaking community.

See you on Tuesdays!
به امید دیدار

Jan. 24: Ario Mashayekhi

Salaam! Please join us for a Persian Circle talk on Tuesday, January 24 at 4:30pm with artist Ario Mashayekhi:

انسانیت در میان بی رحمی انسان

مشاهده هنری به زیبایی در برابر فجایع انسانی

Humanity Amidst Inhumanities. An Artistic view to Beauty in the Face of Human Atrocities


(self-portrait of the artist)

Ario Mashayekhi works professionally as a painter, sculptor and actor. In his visual art, Ario illustrates universal human conditions from pain and sorrow and isolation to the struggle to survive and the will to go beyond to promote the beauty and richness of life and the attainment of love. Through the years his artwork has been displayed in many individual & group shows and various publications, and has been honored by several awards. Ario holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts, Painting, and Sculpture from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


This talk will be in Persian. There will be tea & sweets!

Tuesday, Jan. 24
4:30 pm
in Pick Hall 218
(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)


See you there!

Jan. 17: Saeed Yousef reads from his poetry collections

Salaam! Please join us for the very first Persian Circle of this year on Tuesday, January 17 at 4:30pm with our own Saeed Yousef Ghahremani:

میان واقع و رؤیا، همیشه شعر پلی ست

سعید یوسف نمونه هائی از اشعار خود را از چهار کتاب شعر جدید که در دست چاپ دارد خواهد خواند


A Bridge between Reality and Dreams

Saeed Yousef reads from his four recent collections of poems (to be released soon)


This talk will be in Persian. There will be an introduction in English for students at 4pm in the NELC Lounge (3rd floor, Pick Hall). Come for tea & sweets!


Tuesday, Jan. 17

4pm: Introduction in English (NELC Lounge, 3rd floor, Pick Hall)

4:30pm: Persian Circle talk (Pick Hall 218)

(5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL

Be omid-e didaar,