Keshavarz to give insight into life in modern Iran

Fatemeh Keshavarz, Ph.D., professor of Persian language and literature and chair of the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages & Literatures in Arts & Sciences, will give the Assembly Series lecture at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Graham Chapel.

Keshavarz, a published poet and writer in both Persian and English, is the author of several books and articles.

Fatemah Keshavarz

Her most recent book, “Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran,” blends personal memoir with literary analysis and social commentary to break pervasive Western stereotypes of Iranians.

Keshavarz contends that Iranians live in hope rather than fear and that Iranian women are vibrant and teeming with intellectual curiosity and expression.

The American Library Association booklist describes this work as an excellent counterpoint to Azar Nafisi’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” (Nafisi spoke on campus for the Assembly Series in spring 2004.)

In another work, “Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi,” Keshavarz analyzes the poetic contribution of the medieval Persian poet and mystic Rumi.

Her other literary study, “Recite in the Name of the Red Rose: Poetic Sacred Making in Twentieth Century Iran,” addresses expressions of spirituality in present-day Iran.

Raised in Shiraz, Iran, Keshavarz earned a bachelor’s in Persian language and literature and a master’s in library, archive and information studies from Shiraz University and a master of arts and a doctorate in Near Eastern studies from the University of London.

She also takes interest in the broader implications of cultural education for world peace and, in May 2007, spoke on this topic to the United Nations General Assembly.

The talk is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit or call 935-5285.