Dec 1: Attar, the Unhealed Healer, with Sohila Saremi

Please join us on Dec. 1st for a talk (in Persian) with special guest Sohila Saremi of Saddleback University. A scholar or Persian language and literature, in addition to many other publications she has written Mystical Terms and Prominent Concepts in ʿAṭṭâr’s Speech (in Persian), an incredibly useful analytic concordance. Hope to see you all there!

Attar, the Unhealed Healer
عطار، طبیب بیمار

Sohila Saremi, Saddleback University
سهیلا صارمی

Tuesday, December 1st, 430pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Lecture Room (Pick 218)
5828 South University Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60637


Nov. 17: “The Child and the West in Iran: A Look at The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (KANOON),” with Niloofar Sarlati

Please join Persian Circle on November 17th at 5:30pm (note the later time!) for a talk by Niloofar Sarlati of the University of Minnesota:

کودک و غرب در ایران: نگاهی به کانون پرورش فکری

The Child and the West in Iran: A Look at The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (KANOON)

توجه به کودک و اوقات فراغت او اساسا پدیده ای است مدرن. مخصوصا اگر بپذیریم که قصه گویی و یا داستان های جن و پری، به مشاهده ی والتر بنیامین و رونالد جی  تولکین، هرگز به لحاظ تاریخی صرفا معطوف کودکان نبوده است. در ایران هم  نخستین توجه جدی به کودک در عرصه ی نشر به دوره ی مدرن و پیدایش نخستین نشریه‌های کودکان به دوران مشروطه بازمی‌گردد. از آنجا که مدرنیت را نمی توان در ایران جدا از غرب فهمید در این مقاله من به رابطه ی میان توجه به کودک در ایران و ارتباط این توجه با غرب می پردازم اما تنها از خلال نگاه به کانون پرورش فکری، نهادی که از سه دهه پیش از انقلاب با کسب جوایز بین الممللی بسیار بلند ترین صدا را در عرصه ی پرورش کودک در ایران داشته است.

Children literature and attention to children’s free time in publication is known to be a modern phenomena in the West. This is especially true if we recognize Walter Benjamin and J.R.R. Tolkien’s observation that fairytales, fairy stories, and storytelling were historically never really produced for children exclusively. Same can be said about Iran in regard to the attention to children in the publication industry. It is not until the Constitutional Movement that along with the shift of attention to political modernity, the first children magazine also published in Iran. This talk attends to this relationship between children and the West in Iran through looking at The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, an institute which is internationally most recognized as dedicated to the “development of children” in Iran and which was established three decades before the Revolution of 1979.

November 17th, 5:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Lecture Room (Pick 218)
5828 South University Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60637

Nov. 10: “The Iranian Contemporary Graphic Design,” with Rambod Vala

[If you missed Rambod’s talk, a recording can be found here]

Please join us next Tuesday, November 10, for Persian Circle:

نگاهی به طراحی گرافیک معاصر ایران
Graphic Design in Contemporary Iran

رامبد والا
Rambod Vala

Tuesday, November 10, 4:30pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Lecture Room (Pick 218)
5828 South University Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Beh omid-e didar!

Nov 2: “Demise of the Protagonist in Contemporary Iranian Cinema,” Ali Papoli-Yazdi

[If you missed Ali’s talk, you can listen to via the embedded player above or you can downloaded it by right-clicking here and selecting ‘save as’]

The Ambiguity of Values and the Demise of the Protagonist in Contemporary Iranian Cinema
 ابهام ارزشها و افول قهرمان در سینمای امروز ایران

علی پاپلی یزدی

This is talk will be in Persian, and speakers of all levels are invited!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Lecture Room (Pick 218)
5828 South University Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60637

Oct 27: “Chicago Persian School: Case Study of a Journey,” with Dr. Negar Mansourian-Hadavi

[If you missed this talk, you can listen to it in the above player or download it here]

Please join us on for a Persian Circle talk on Tuesday, October 27 by Dr. Negar Mansourian-Hadavi, director of the Chicago Persian School:

مدرسه فارسی شیکاگو: مطالعه‌ی یک ماجرا
Chicago Persian School: Case Study of a Journey

نگار منصوریان-هادوی
Dr. Negar Mansourian-Hadavi

Tuesday, October 27th, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Lecture Room (Pick 218)
5828 South University Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637


Oct. 20: “Teaching Persian as a Second Language,” Hossein Samei

[For those of you who couldn’t join us for Dr. Samei’s talk, a recording can be found here. If you have trouble with the embedded media player, try downloading the file by right-clicking and selecting “save as.”]
Please join us for a special Persian Circle on pedagogy and teaching Persian as a second language, with lexicographer and Persian lecturer Hossein Samei of Emory! Beh omid-e didaar!
Hossein Samei
حسین سامعی
Teaching Persian as a Second Language
آموزش فارسی به عنوان زبان دوم
Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Seminar Room (Pick 218)
1116 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637



Oct. 13: “Contradiction in Hafiz’s Poetry,” Mehdi Harandi

[For those of you who couldn’t make Mehdi Harandi’s talk, a recording can be found at the bottom of this post]

Join us October 13th at 4:30 pm in the Farouk Mustafa lecture room (Pick 218) for a talk in Persian by Mehdi Harandi:

تناقض در شعر حافظ
شعر حافظ، آنجا که جهان‌بینی و دیدگاه فکری او‌ را نشان می‌‌دهد، گاه، ضدّ و نقیض است.  بسیاری از حافظ پژوهان یا، با نادیده گرفتن این تضادها، او‌ را وابسته به یک مکتب فکری خاص دانسته‌اند، و یا سعی‌ کرده‌اند تا توجیهی برای این تضادها بیابند.  در این گفتار، پس از یک بررسی کوتاه از این نظریه‌ها، سعی‌ خواهیم کرد تا نشان دهیم که تضاد در شعر حافظ نتیجه‌ی نابسامانی یا دگرگونی فکری او‌ نیست، بلکه حاصل شعور و نبوغ هنری اوست که از شعرش آینه‌ای می‌‌سازد برای تصویرهای متفاوت، نه‌ یک قاب برای تصویری خاص

Contradiction in Hafiz’s Poetry

Hafez’s poetry, when he expresses his world views and his philosophy of life, at times includes contradictions.  Many literary studies of Hafez’s poetry have either ignored such contradictions (thus, associating him with a specific school of thought), or tried to explain them away.  In this talk, after a brief review of some of these studies, we will try to show that what seems to be contradiction in Hafez’s poetry is indeed due to his artistic genius, by which he has created a mirror to reflect many views on an ideological issue, rather than framing a particular school of thought on that issue.

[If the embedded payer doesn’t work for you, you can download the file by right-clicking the following link and selecting “save as”: Mehdi Harandi. Tanaqoz dar sher-e Hafez]

Oct. 6: Alexandra Hoffmann, «خاطراتی از سفر به ایران»

Join us Tuesday, October 6th, at 4:30pm in Pick 218 for the first talk of Autumn quarter, by Alexandra Hoffman!

خاطراتی از سفر به ایران
Memories of a trip to Iran

در این گفتار عکسهای زیاد از سفرم به ایران در این تابستان نشان میدهم،  درباره کلاسهای زبان و زندگی خانوادگی صحبت میکنم، فکرها درباره  میکاپ (آرایش) ومراسم ازدواج ونظریات درباره خریدن زیرپوش وزیبای پسته‌های تازه بیان میکنم

In this talk, I’ll show a lot of pictures from my trip to Iran this summer, I’ll talk about language classes and family life, I’ll share thoughts on make-up and wedding ceremonies, observations on where to buy underwear and the beauty of fresh pistachios.

Recordings ‘from the archives’

We are pleased to share recordings of the following nine Persian Circle presentations, which took place during the winter and spring of 2013. These have never been posted before (and indeed were feared lost in a hard drive crash). Without further ado:

  • 16 Jan. 2013Prof. Maryam Mosharraf of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran – Nowruz (and the Persian language) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (download)
  • 23 Jan. 2013Prof. Saeed (Yousef) Ghahremani of the University of Chicago – The differences between poetry (she‘r) and verse (nazm): the views of Iranian poets and critics (download)
  • 27 Feb. 2013Prof. Dominic Parviz Brookshaw of Oxford University (he was at Stanford at the time) – Women Poets of the Fath-‘Ali Shah Period (in English) (download)
  • 3 Apr. 2013 – Prof. Saeed (Yousef) Ghahremani of the University of Chicago – The Challenges of Doing the Impossible: Translating Western Poetry into Persian (Brecht’s example) (download)
  • 17 Apr. 2013Elham Mireshghi of UC Irvine – An Anthropological View of Kidney Sales in Iran (download)
  • 24 Apr. 2013Students in Prof. Franklin Lewis’ Masnavi seminar discuss their term paper research (mixed English/Persian) (download)
  • 1 May 2013Maryam Sabbaghi of the University of Chicago – Beaming Faces and Friendly Clowns: My Internship at the Mahak Hospital (download)
  • 15 May 2013Nazafarin Lotfi, Chicago-based artist – A Look at What Has Passed: From Tehran’s College of Fine Arts to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (download)
  • 29 May 2013Mohammad Sagha of the University of Chicago – Mahya: A film in the search of death, spirituality, and resurrection (download)

Spring Quarter Schedule 2015

Greetings to dear friends and colleagues,
سلام به دوستان و همکاران گرامی‌

I hope you had a wonderful Norooz holiday! At Persian Circle we have a very exciting schedule for Spring Quarter, subject to change. Feel free contact us if you have any questions or suggestions!

4/1/2015 Ali Papoli-Yazdi (Universty of Tehran)
4/8/2015 Sam Molaie (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
4/15/2015 Erfan Sharifpour (Sufi poet and musician)
4/22/2015 Shahrzad Mohammadian (SAIC)
5/6/2015 Samra Azarnouche (École pratique des hautes études-Paris)
5/13/2015 Ezzat Goushgir (DePaul University)
5/20/2015 Francesca Chubb-Confer (University of Chicago Divinity School)
5/26/2016 Ahmad Shekarchi (Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran)
5/27/2015 TBA

Whether you are a professional who wishes to update us on cultural events in the greater Chicago area, an artist who wants to showcase a project, or a scholar needing a venue to workshop a paper pertaining to the Persianate world, we would love to have you at Persian Circle! Please scroll down to access recordings of previous presentations from years past, or visit Soundcloud to access recordings from this year:

Be omide didar :)