Category: Religion

Maryam Sabbaghi: “Exploring Jewish and Zoroastrian Sites in Iran”

By , October 2, 2016 7:42 pm


Please join us for the first Persian Circle of the Autumn Quarter on Oct. 4 with Maryam Sabbaghi (University of Chicago, Divinity school):

       گذری بر مکانهای تاریخی یهودی و زرتشتی در ایران
“Exploring Jewish and Zoroastrian Sites in Iran”

Maryam picture

Maryam will talk about her caffeinated wanderings through various Jewish and Zoroastrian neighborhoods and sites in Tehran, Yazd, and Shiraz. She will also discuss the histories of these old neighborhoods and the people who enrich them today.

*This talk will be in Persian.*

It will be preceded by an introduction to the topic and vocabulary by the speaker, designed to help students learning Persian to follow the talk. There will be tea and sweets, so join us for a cozy afternoon!

Tuesday, Oct. 4
Introduction for students: 4pm | Regular talk: 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick Hall 218)
5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Non-Muslims and the Constitutional Revolution with Saghar Sadeghian

By , April 28, 2016 8:07 am
[If you missed Saghar Sadeghian’s talk, you can find a recording here]
Saghar Sadeghian (Postdoctoral Associate, Yale)
ساغر صادقیان
Non-Muslims and the Constitutional Revolution: A Quest of Identity
غیرمسلمانان و ابقلاب مشروطه: بحث هویت

The concept of Iranian nationality had become a more visible discourse since 1890s and mostly during the Tobacco Movement. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution emerged in 1906 with the slogan of “Iran for all Iranians.” Where were the non-Muslims located in this situation? This paper introduces the situation of four major non-Muslim communities—Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians and Baha’is—in Iran between 1890-1911. At the local level, it studies the daily life of the members of these communities and their interactions with the greater Muslim society. At the national level, it explores the ways Iranian citizenship was defined for non-Muslims. Finally, at the international level, it examines the economic, social and political relationship between Iran and Western countries concerning its non-Muslim population. It also introduces the missionary institutions in Iran and some discourses on these activities. 


Tuesday, May 3, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick Hall #218)
5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Phenomenology of Iranian Architecture, with Mohammad Hossein Abbasi

By , February 25, 2016 7:41 am
Mohammad Hossein Abbasi (IIT) /محمد حسین عباسی
Phenomenology of Iranian Architecture / پدیدار شناسی معماری ایرانی
Tuesday, March 2, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick #218)
5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637 

Jan 26: Shiite Clerics and Political Modernization in Iran / علمای شیعه و تجدد سیاسی در ایران

By , January 21, 2016 8:17 am

Please join us on Tuesday, January 26th for a talk with Mateo Farzaneh / متئو فرزانه based on his new book The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani:

Shiite Clerics and Political Modernization in Iran / علمای شیعه و تجدد سیاسی در ایران

In this book presentation, Prof. Farzaneh will discuss the role of Islamic jurisprudence in political reform in Iran. Throughout the 1800s, Iran was challenged to politically modernize in order to undo the failed policies of its corrupt/absolutist monarchical system. Introduction of Western-style constitutionalism by secular Iranians brought about the establishment of the Islamic world’s first parliament in Iran in 1906. However, that was the beginning of a long struggle between the proponents and the opponents of rule of law as a new political reality. Mullah Muhammad Kazim Khurasani led a group of high-ranking Iranian Shiite clerics living in Iraq and began a transnational clerical movement in support of constitutionalism with the objective to sever the political influence of Muslim clerics and leaving “modern” politics to the elected parliamentarians. This talk is based on Prof. Farzaneh’s new book, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani (Syracuse University Press, 2015).

Tuesday, January 26th, 4:30 pm
Farouk Mustafa Seminar Room (Pick #218)
5828 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Recordings ‘from the archives’

By , August 18, 2015 5:26 pm

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)

Bruce Lincoln on the Magi

By , January 16, 2014 7:10 pm

For those of you who were unable to attend Prof. Lincoln’s talk, here is the audio of our circle. You can listen to it using the embedded player or download the MP3 here.

Richard Payne: The Saints of Mount Bisutun

By , October 30, 2013 10:17 pm

Prof. Payne gave a fascinating talk today, and thanks to all who came! I have the recording of the session attached below; you’ll have to forgive me, I had the microphone on a little hot, so the sound is a bit distorted (especially at the beginning with my rather loud introduction) but it’s still quite listenable. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks again to our speaker!

Download MP3

Bruce Lincoln: An Introduction to Pre-Islamic Iranian Religions

By , March 8, 2011 9:31 am

Prof. Bruce Lincoln gave us a very useful introduction to Pre-Islamic Iranian Religions. Listen to his talk here.

Dr. Kioumars Ghereghlou: Anti-Sufism in the Later Safavid Era and Sufi Polemics

By , May 22, 2009 12:55 am

By Dr. Kioumars Ghereghlou. You can listen to his talk here.

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