January 18th: Farinaz Kavianifar

Salam bar hamegi,

Please join us on Thursday 18th January at 5pm, for Persian Circle at the University of Chicago, where Farinaz Kavianifar will be giving a talk in Persian entitled:

“The Tradition and Music of the Yarsan”

“سنت و موسيقى يارستان”

Thursday 18th January
Pick Hall 218
5828 S. University Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

Farinaz Kavianifar is a second-year M.A. student at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of Chicago. She is interested in Persian and Arabic Literature, philosophy, and ethnic music and practices. She’s also had first-hand experience learning tanbour from Yarsan masters.

Be omid-e didar,


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,

October 5th: Prof. Andrew Hicks

Salaam dustaan,

This week, the University of Chicago’s Persian Circle are fortunate to host Andrew Hicks (Associate Professor of Music and Medieval Studies, Cornell University ) for a talk entitled:

“Musical agency in Ghaznavid court poetry” [this talk in English]

Please join us this Thursday 5th October for what promises to be a fascinating talk!

Pick Hall 218
5828 S. University Ave
Chicago, IL 60540

Professor Hicks’ research focuses on the intellectual history of early musical thought from a cross-disciplinary perspective that embraces philosophical, cosmological, scientific and grammatical discourse in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and spans the linguistic and cultural spheres of Latin, Greek, Persian, and Arabic. http://music.cornell.edu/andrew-hicks

Talk abstract: The divan of Farrukhī Sīstānī (d. 1037) teems with evocations of a lively Ghaznavid minstrel culture, a culture Farrukhī knew first-hand, as he was not only a court poet but was also, according to the Chahār maqāla, a “dexterous performer on the harp.” Though numerous studies document and detail the public, courtly persona of the Persian minstrel,the divan-e Farrukhī presents a much less studied aspect of Ghaznavid minstrelsy, namely, the minstrel’s private, erotic persona as the “moon-faced,” “silken-breasted” beloved; auditory beauty and visual beauty become semantically entwined and at times interchangeable. This study takes as its point of departure the lyric nasib to several of Farrukhī’s qasidas that describe intimate and manifestly erotic encounters between Farrukhī, the poet, and an (always unnamed) Turkish beloved, the minstrel. In recounting such erotic encounters, Farrukhī’s poetry affords us a glimpse into the formative stages of a still-living symbol that was to become, in later Persian poetry, “stock” poetic imagery: the beloved as “Turk”. A careful reading of Farrukhī’s poetry, with occasional glances to Manūchihrī and ‘Unṣurī, allows us to chart with more precision the emergence of this symbolic minstrel persona, which was rooted in the historical realities of the Ghaznavid court but came to resonate more broadly with the imagery of music and musical performance unique to the Persian poetic tradition.

Prof. Hicks will be giving a second talk on Friday 6th October @3:30pm, in the Fulton Recital Hall, entitled:

“Listening Vicariously: music and metaphor in medieval Persion Sufism”

Full details of Friday’s talk can be found here: https://music.uchicago.edu/page/music-colloquium-series

Be omid-e didar,

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)


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!

“A Look at Shahrzad Series” – Followed by a Screening of the Last Episode

Nilofar Saraj
نیلوفر سراج

“A Look at Shahrzad Series” – Followed by a Screening of the Last Episode
نگاهی‌ به سریال شهرزاد” همراه با نمایش آخرین قسمت سریال”

Tuesday, May 24, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick Hall #218)
5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Screening of “Silky Eloquence” with Filmmaker Hossein Khandan

Screening of “Silky Eloquence” followed by Q & A
نمایش فیلم ‘حریر کلام’ به همراه پرسش و پاسخ با کارگردان فیلم
With more than 38 years experience, Hossein Khandan, an Iranian-American filmmaker and photographer, will be in person to screen his award winning film “Silky Eloquence,” along with other short films. Subsequently, he will be available for discussion about his experience as a Persian artist in China.
Tuesday, April 19, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick Hall #218)
5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637 

“Carpets for you”: Glimpses on Qajar Multinational Carpet Corporations, with Kimia Maleki

[If you missed Kimia’s talk, you can download it here]
Please join us for Persian Circle this coming Tuesday, for a talk on Qajar carpet corporations by Kimia Maleki (SAIC). This talk will be in Persian and all are invited to attend:
:”فرش هایی برای شما”
نگاهی به شرکت های چند ملیتی فرش در دوران قاجار
“Carpets for you”:
Glimpses on Qajar Multinational Carpet Corporations 
Tuesday, April 12, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick Hall #218)
5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637 

“The Music of Baluchestan” with Siavash Sabetrohani

[If you missed Siavash’s talk, you can download the recording here]

Dear All,

Please join us for next week’s Persian Circle talk with Siavash Sabetrohani / سیاوش ثابت روحانی. The talk will be in Persian, and is open to the public.
  موسیقی بلوچستان: نگاهی به زندگی و آثار شیر محمد اسپندار 
The Music of Baluchestan:
The Life and Works of Shir Mohammad Espandar
Tuesday, February 16, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Memorial Seminar Room (Pick 218)
 5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637