Persian Studies Hosts “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora”


Media Contact:
Persis Karim, Director of Persian Studies, Persis.karim@sjsu.edu, 408-924-4476

Persian Studies Program Hosts First-Ever “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora Conference”

Various scholars, acclaimed artists and filmmakers from across the country will present at this conference.

SAN JOSE, Calif.- The Persian Studies Program at San Jose State, with support from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and the College of Humanities and the Arts, will hold the first-ever “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora” conference on Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, at SJSU.

This conference brings together visual artists, writers, filmmakers and cultural activists who have been making art and representing the experiences, perspectives and sentiments of a diverse community of Iranians in the United Since over the past three decades.

Panels and discussions will convene in the Dr. Martin Luther King  Jr. Library, rooms 225/229 and 255 , on Friday morning. Registration for the conference for both days including lunch is $60 for the general public and $50 for students. Advanced registration is required. 

Various scholars, acclaimed artists and filmmakers from across the country will present at this conference while representing institutions including the University of Southern California, Boston University, California College of Arts, UCLA, California Institute of Integral Studies and UC Irvine. Participants will provide a multi-dimensional exploration of how art has helped shape a conversation about Iran, migration to the West and the unique culture of Iranian Americans and the Iranian diaspora.

Iranian American Life

“As we read daily headlines about the tension between Iran and the United States, it is important to recognize the significant presence of Iranian-Americans and the ways that their experiences and contributions are often overshadowed,” said Dr. Persis Karim, director of Persian Studies at SJSU. “This conference is an occasion to reflect on and share the arts and humanity of Iran and its diaspora communities in the context of North America.”

Persian Studies Program Hosts First-Ever “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora Conference”

The play “Inja o Oonja: Stories from Iranian American Life,” featuring Kyle Swany, Mehrzad Karimabadi and Sara Mashayekh, will premiere at the “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora” conference (photo courtesy of Persis Karim).

The conference also features a play titled, “Inja o Oonja—Here and There: Stories from Iranian American Life,” adapted by SJSU Theater Arts Professor Dr. Matthew Spangler from three short stories by Iranian American writers on Friday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at the Le Petit Trianon Theatre (72 N. Fifth St., San Jose).

To conclude the conference events, a film-screening and discussion of two films by SJSU Professor Babak Sarrafan (Radio, Television, Film and Theater) and San Jose native Mo Gorjestani will be held on Saturday, April 12, in the Student Union Ballroom at 7 p.m. Both of these evening events are free and open to the public.

SJSU’s Persian Studies Program was established in March 2011 with funding from a grant from PARSA Community Foundation and received a generous three-year grant from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute  to continue the work of educating the SJSU community about the rich culture, history and heritage of the Persianate world, including the Iranian diaspora.

Evolution of a Community

Since 2011, Persian Studies at SJSU has offered courses in beginning Persian through the World Languages department and has hosted numerous lectures with scholars, film-screenings, musical events and book readings. This year’s events commenced with lectures “Jews of Iran” featuring Dr. Jaleh Pirnazar of UC Berkeley as well as “Days of the Revolution” presented by Dr. Mary Hegland of Santa Clara University. Celebration of Norouz, the Persian New Year and the spring equinox, has also become a tradition of the Persian Studies Program with the third annual concert of classical and folk Persian music on March 9.

“We hope people will see how art can help shape a different conversation about a people, their heritage and the evolution of that community right here in the United States,” said Karim. “We’re grateful that the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is making that conversation possible in the heart of one of the largest populations of Iranian Americans in this country.”

More information for this conference, play and film-screening can be found at SJSU’s Persian Studies Program website.

Also, like Persian Studies at SJSU on Facebook for event news and updates.

 

Learning About the Persianate World

Contact:
Persis Karim, Director, Persian Studies, persis.karim@sjsu.edu, 408-924-4476

SAN JOSE, Calif., – The Persian Studies Program at San Jose State, with support from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, will hold the third annual Norouz concert to celebrate the arrival of spring and the Persian New Year on Sunday, March 9, from 3-5 p.m. in the Student Union Barrett Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.

Musicians Mahvash Guerami, santour, and Hossein Massoudi, vocals, as well as members of the Bay Area Iranian American Children’s Choral Group will perform classical and folk Persian music to commemorate this important Persian holiday, which falls on March 20, the spring equinox. A tea and sweets reception will precede the performance.

Learning About the Persianate World

The Persian Studies Program will host its third annual Norouz concert.

Rich Culture, History and Heritage

SJSU’s Persian Studies Program was established in March 2011 with funding from a grant from PARSA Community Foundation and received a generous three-year grant from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute to continue the work of educating the SJSU community about the rich culture, history and heritage of the Persianate world.

Since 2011, Persian Studies at SJSU has offered courses in beginning Persian through the World Languages department and has hosted numerous lectures with scholars, film-screenings, musical events and book readings. The Norouz concert on March 9 is a wonderful opportunity to share a meaningful holiday with classical and folk music of Iran.

Many people in the larger Silicon Valley community look forward to this event and the idea that SJSU has created a tradition each year,” said Persis Karim, director of Persian Studies.

This semester, Persian Studies hosts lectures on “Jews of Iran,” and an upcoming lecture on April 2 with SJSU’s Dr. Katherine Richardson from the Department of Geography, who will share her research on “Iranian American Technology Leaders in Silicon Valley.”

Iranian Diaspora Conference

The first-ever “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora Conference,” made possible with the support of the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, will take place April 11-12, 2014, at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The conference will feature panels by visual artists, writers and filmmakers, as well as the play, “Inja o Oonja: Stories from Iranian American Life,” adapted by SJSU Theater Arts Professor Matthew Spangler from three short stories by Iranian American writers. The play will take place on Friday, April 11, at the Le Petit Trianon Theater (72 N. Fifth St., San Jose).

Learning About the Persianate World

The first-ever “Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora Conference,” made possible with the support of the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, will take place April 11-12, 2014.

The conference will also feature a film screening and discussion of two films by Professor of Theatre Arts Babak Sarrafan and San Jose native Mo Gorjestani on Saturday, April 12, in the Student Union Barrett Ballroom. Information and registration for this conference and these two evening events can be found at Brown Paper Tickets.

Additional information is available on the Persian Studies Program website and Facebook page.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Persian Studies Hosts Forum on the Future of U.S.-Iran Relations

Persian Studies Hosts Forum on the Future of U.S.-Iran Relations

Persian Studies Hosts Forum on the Future of U.S.-Iran Relations

SJSU’s Persian Studies Program invites the university community to “Nuclear Ambitions, Human Rights, and the Future of U.S.-Iran Relations” 7-9 p.m. Nov. 29 in King 225/229.

SJSU’s Persian Studies Program invites the university community to “Nuclear Ambitions, Human Rights, and the Future of U.S.-Iran Relations” 7-9 p.m. Nov. 29 in King 225/229.

The speakers will be Dr. Mahmoud Monshipouri, San Francisco State University; Nazy Kaviani, Committee to Protect Journalists; and Firuzeh Mahmoudi, United4Iran.

The event is sponsored by the Student Association of Middle East Studies and Associated Students of SJSU.

Co-sponsors include the Middle East Studies Consortium of Silicon Valley, Middle East Studies, SJSU Persian Studies Program, the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the College of Humanities and the Arts.

Speakers

Dr. Mahmoud Monshipouri is an associate professor and graduate coordinator in the Department of International Relations. He specializes in human rights, international relations, globalization and identity construction, and Middle Eastern Studies. He is the author of Youth, Technology, and Democratic Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Currently, he is working on a project on Iran titled “Social Change in the Post-Khomeini Era.”

Nazy Kaviani is a writer, human rights activist, and promoter of Iranian arts and culture. She is also a translator and researcher, focusing on violations of human rights in Iran. She is a frequent contributor to Iranian.com and other websites. Nazy’s poetry and writings have been published in “The Poetry of Iranian Women” and in “Confronting the Clash: The Suppressed Voices of Iran,” which will be published later in 2012. She has recently completed translating and editing “Sketches of Iran,” a book of essays and cartoons about the situation of human rights in Iran.

Firuzeh Mahmoudi is the co-founder and co-director of United4Iran, an independent non-profit working to improve human rights conditions in Iran. Previously, Firuzeh managed a $13 million United Nations project focusing on improving environmental and public health conditions in eight Global South countries. Firuzeh also served as the international coordinator of the global coalition Health Care Without Harm working in over 50 countries. She has worked directly in more than ten countries and with partners in another thirty countries. Firuzeh serves on the board of many organizations focusing on Iranian culture or social change.