This seminar provides a forum for faculty, students, and other participants to explore, challenge, and discuss new research in the field of Persian and Persianate studies. It brings into focus a vast linguistic and cultural complex once stretching from the Balkans in the West all the way to Baghdad, Bukhara, and Bengal in the East where Persian was a model for high culture and literary achievements. The seminar seeks to investigate the literary and cultural productions of the Persianate complex in the Islamic period, while fostering methodological diversity and comparative approaches across the humanities.

Upcoming Events

Matthew C. Smith, Harvard University
Betrayed By Earth and Sky: Poetry of Disaster and Restoration in 18th Century Iran
Friday, March 31, 2017 - 5:00pm
Room 114, Barker Center
Michelle Quay, Cambridge University
The Female "Saints" of Islam: Corporeality in Medieval Persian and Arabic Hagiography
Friday, April 14, 2017 - 5:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center
Matthew Thomas Miller, University of Maryland, College Park
Poetic Performance as Argument: Hasan the Singer’s Embodied Performance-cum-Defense of Sufi (Homo)eroticism in ‘Erâqi’s Hagiography
Friday, April 21, 2017 - 5:00pm
Room 201, Warren House
Gohar Homayounpour, Shahid Besheti University Tehran
Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran: Triumphs and Laments
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 8:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Dr. Homayounpour will give a general description of Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran (MIT Press, 2012) and its “Triumphs and Laments,” to borrow from William Kentridge. She will also provide a brief overview of the Freudian Group of Tehran, a group she founded and has directed since 2007. An attempt will be made to highlight various culturally specific observations based on ten years of clinical psychoanalytic experience living and working in Iran. These observations of social/political/cultural differences, demonstrated through some clinical vignettes, will avoid a relativist point of view, as it is Homayounpour's assertion that in a culturally relativist discourse the adherence, paradoxically, is towards sameness and not difference. A case will be made along the lines of a subversive de-mapping of psychoanalysis toward geographies of psychoanalysis, without escaping the universality of the human condition, where pain is pain.

Cosponsored by the Psychoanalytic Practices seminar

Past Events 2016 - 17

Pollet Samvelian, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3
Specific Features of Persian Syntax: The Ezâfe Construction, Differential Object Marking, and Complex Predicates
Domenico Ingenito, University of California, Los Angeles
Through the Mirror of My Fantasies: The Sacred, the Courtly, and the Obscene in Sa'di's Lyricism
Naghmeh Sohrabi, Brandeis University
Remembering the Palestine Group: Memory, History, and the Iranian Revolution