May 14: Anita Alkhas

The Persian Circle presents:
انجمن سخن در دانشگاه شیکاگو تقدیم می کند

Anita Alkhas / انیتا الخاص

Show and Tell: زندگی و هنر هانیبال و آدری الخاص

Wed. May 14, 5:00–6:30pm
Pick 222, 5828 S University Ave

Anita Alkhas is Associate Professor of French in the Department of French, Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has published articles on French culture and literature with an emphasis on the creative process and on modernism. Her family has held a prominent place in the arts for generations; her grandfather, Rabi Addai Alkhas (1897-1959), translated the Gilgamesh epic into Assyrian Aramaic and founded an important Assyrian literary journal, while her uncle John was a well-known poet. Her father Hannibal (1930–2010) was a sculptor, painter, and author who received his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught at various instutions both in the US and in Iran. He was also the founder of the Gilgamesh gallery, the first modern art gallery in Iran where aspiring young artists were introduced. Anita will be speaking about her experiences growing up with her family of artists as an Iranian-American living in 1970s Iran.

See the following links to learn more about Hannibal’s work:

به امید دیدار،

May 7: Mehran Jalili

The Persian Circle presents:
انجمن سخن در دانشگاه شیکاگو تقدیم می کند

Mehran Jalili / مهران جلیلی

The Guitar and I
گیتار و من

Wed. May 7, 5:00–6:30pm
Pick 222, 5828 S University Ave

We are very lucky to have Mehran Jalili come and speak (and play) for us this week! Mehran is an avant-garde Flamenco guitarist based in Chicago. His first album, entitled Angels of Persepolis, has gained him an international reputation and was chosen by UK’s Rainlores World of Music as the best world music album of 2010. His latest CD Subterranea (2012) is a concept album along the vein of progressive/alternative/psychedelic rock influenced by the Flamenco guitar; many describe Mehran’s new 4-piece band as Pink Floyd under the spell of flamenco. To whet your appetites, check out the following links:

An introduction to traditional Iranian arts: Shahriar Piroozram

Hezar tashakkor to Ostad Piroozram for his introduction to Iranian traditional art! Unfortunately, we cannot include the visual element, but his talk is nevertheless full of interesting information and the specialized terminology used in various art forms including calligraphy, bookbinding, painting, design, and leatherwork. Listen to the MP3 or use the player below:

April 30: Shahriar Piroozram

The Persian Circle presents:
انجمن سخن در دانشگاه شیکاگو تقدیم می کند

Shahriar Piroozram / ﺷﻬﺮﻳﺎﺭ ﭘﻴﺮﻭﺯﺭﺍﻡ

Lecturer at the Art University of Isfahan and Visiting Scholar at Columbia College, Chicago

An Introduction to the Persian Book and Paper Arts
ﻣﻌﺮﻓ​ﯽ ﻫﻨﺮﻫﺎﯼ ﮐﺘﺎﺏ ﺁﺭﺍﻳﯽ ﺩﺭ ﺍﻳﺮﺍﻥ

Wed. April 30, 5:00–6:30pm
Pick 222, 5828 S University Ave

Mr. Piroozram is an artist specializing in Timurid/Ilkhanid book design and Safavid miniatures, currently a visiting scholar at Columbia College, Chicago. He received his B.F.A from the Art University of Tehran, his M.F.A. from the Art University of Isfahan (AUI), and expects to receive his Ph.D. in Art Research from the same university in the summer of this year. He has taught courses at the AUI in traditional bookbinding, manuscript conservation, design, calligraphy, illumination, miniature, wood carving, and art symbolism. His research interests include the art and architecture of the Chehelsotun Palace in Isfahan, traditional methods of paper dyeing, and book cover design. His work has been exhibited at Columbia College, the AUI, and the National Museum of Algeria among other venues.

به امید دیدار!

April 23: Narimon Safavi

The Persian Circle presents:
انجمن سخن در دانشگاه شیکاگو تقدیم می کند

Narimon Safavi / نریمان صفوی

On the Possible Rapprochement Between Iran and the U.S.
در امکان آشتی میان ایران و آمریکا

Wed. April 23, 5:00–6:30pm
Pick 222, 5828 S University Ave

Narimon Safavi is a Chicago based Iranian-American entrepreneur who is also a contributor and analyst for the radio program Worldview on WBEZ (Chicago Public Media). Born in Tehran to an Azari-Iranian family, he studied Chemistry and Philosophy at the Illinois State University and is now serving on the Human Rights Watch – Chicago Committee and as an ambassador of the DC based National Iranian-American Council (NIAC, the largest grass roots advocacy organization of Iranian-Americans). (See more at PasFarda)

April 16: Mehdi Haradi

The Persian Circle presents:
انجمن سخن در دانشگاه شیکاگو تقدیم می کند

Prof. Mehdi Harandi / مهدی هرندی

The Robâ‘i: The ancient (forever new) song of Persian poetry
رباعی: کهن سرود همیشه نوی شعر پارسی

Wed. April 16, 5:00–6:30pm
Pick 222, 5828 S University Ave

Emeritus professor of computer science, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Dr. Harandi has been an educator/researcher for nearly 40 years and a (Persian) poet for more than 50 years. He has published two volumes of his poetry and is now preparing another volume for publication. Since retirement, he has found extra time to devout to study of and research in all things related to the Persian language, from the Avesta to the present day.

چکیده‌ی گفتار:

دو‌بیتی‌، و نوع خاص آن، رباعی، مردمی‌ترین، همگانی‌ترین و یکی از کهن‌ترین انواع شعر پارسی است. ناب‌ترین جلوه‌های فرهنگ و اندیشه‌ی ایرانی‌ در دوبیتی‌های فارسی‌ متبلورند. کوتاهی دوبیتی (رباعی) به آن اجازه داده است که در قالبی کهن، با به کار گرفتن اندیشه‌ها، تصویر‌ها، و واژگان نو، همواره نو بماند. بسیاری از شعر‌پژوهان بر این باورند که دوبیتی (رباعی) ریشه در شعر پارسی قبل از اسلام دارد. آنچه بی‌ تردید میتوان گفت‌ این است که از اولین شاعران پارسی گوی پس از اسلام، مانند حنظله بادغیسی (وفات ۲۲۰ هجری) تا جوان‌ترین شاعران نسل پس از انقلاب ۱۳۵۷، دوبیتی (رباعی) فرم انتخابی شاعران برای بیان احساس‌های شخصی، مسایل روز مردم کوچه و بازار، نظریه‌های فلسفی، دینی، اجتماعی، و ثبت لحظه‌های تاریخی بوده است.

در این گفتار، به اختصار، شکل گیری، تحول و تداوم دوبیتی (رباعی) را در طول بیش از یک هزار سال شعر پارسی پس از اسلام مورد بررسی قرار داده، و با ارایه نمونه‌هایی از آن در زمان‌های مختلف، نقش رباعی را در نگاهداری و گسترش فرهنگ و اندیشه‌ی ایرانی بازگو خواهیم کرد.

April 2: Negin Almassi

Dear all, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to another quarter of Persian Circle, starting with what promises to be one of the most fun and unique sessions we’ve ever hosted!

The Persian Circle presents:
انجمن سخن در دانشگاه شیکاگو تقدیم می کند

Negin Almassi / نگین الماسی

Fur, Feathers, and Scales: A Hands-On Introduction to Chicagoland Wildlife
پشم و پر و پولک: معرفی تجربه‌ای به جانوران شیکاگوزمین

Wed. April 2, 5:00–6:30pm
Pick 222, 5828 S University Ave

The Forest Preserves of Cook County are a unique treasure of Chicagoland, preserving crucial habitat for native plants and animals. Take an up-close look at animal artifacts as you learn about Cook County’s wildlife and how it compares to wildlife in Iran. Next time you are in the Forest Preserves, whether for a walk or for Sizdeh Bedar, you will know what kind of animals to look for and where to see them.

Negin Almassi is a naturalist for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, working at Trailside Museum of Natural History in River Forest. As a naturalist she connects people with nature through educational and interpretive programs in schools, communities, and the preserves. Negin was born in Chicago and raised in Milwaukee, where she learned to read and write Persian at Eftekhar Persian School. Negin earned her B.S. in biology from Purdue University and her M.P.A. from University of Washington in Seattle, focusing on cultural resource preservation.

Spring Schedule

We are pleased to announce this Spring’s schedule. Mark your calendars! Full details can be found on our calendar of upcoming events.

  • 4/2/2014 Negin Almassi: Fur, Feathers, and Scales: A Hands-On Introduction to Chicagoland Wildlife
  • 4/9/2014 <special event, see calendar for details>
  • 4/16/2014 Mehdi Harandi: The Roba’i: The ancient (and forever new) song of Persian poetry
  • 4/23/2014 Narimon Safavi: On U.S.-Iranian relations
  • 4/30/2014 M. A. Mahallati: Ethics of War and Peace in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh
  • 5/7/2014 Mehran Jalili: The Guitar and I
  • 5/14/2014 Anita Alkhas: Show and Tell: زندگی و هنر هانیبال و آدری الخاص
  • 5/21/2014 Maryam Alemzade: The Revolutionary Guards: An Unconventional Military in a Conventional War
  • 5/28/2014 Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi: Writing Liminality: A Reading from “Holy City, Dream & The Traveler”