Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
| N695 Modern Persian Literature in Translation (3cr)
N380 | 3037 | Losensky
N695 Modern Persian Literature in Translation (3cr)
Time and Day: 11:15a-12:30p TR
Prof. Paul Losensky
Satisfies COAS requirements for AHLA and CSA.
For most of us, modern Iran calls to mind only hostages, terrorism, and gun-toting clerics. But
behind the headlines, there is a highly literate people with a cultural history going back many
centuries. Their struggle to come to grips with Western economic and cultural influence and to
forge a modern identity is most fully expressed through a variety of new literary forms and the
emerging medium of film. In this course, we will look at some of the major voices and themes
of twentieth-century Persian literature, including short stories, novellas, poetry, and film.
Through brief lectures and long discussions, we will explore how modern Iranian writers use
imagery, character, and plot to give voice to the rapidly and sometimes violently changing
society in which they live. Among the topics we will consider are: the impact of the West, the
tension between tradition and modernity, the works of Sadeq Hedayat, the changing roles of
women, the "engaged" writing of the 60's and 70's, village versus city, and writing since the
All students: active and regular participation in class discussions.
Undergraduates: three short papers and final essay.
Graduates: one short paper and final term paper, plus supplementary readings.
Jalal Al-e Ahmad. The School Principal.
Hedayat, Sadegh. The Blind Owl.
An Anthology of Modern Persian Poetry
Stories from Iran: a Chicago Anthology, 1921-1991
Reading packet (available at Mr. Copy)
"Iranian Literature since the Revolution," special issue of Iranian Studies
Films: Dash Akol, Ragbar, Bashu.