PERSIAN 504 - Modern Persian Fiction
Fall 2020, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Persian (PERSIAN)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The Persian short story, with native roots in the prose and verse genres of the hekayat and the romance, and in consciously adopted western models, has become — along with the novella — perhaps the premier form of modern fiction in Iran. In this intermediate-advanced Persian course, we will read selections from some of the form's most prominent practitioners, such as Jamalzadeh, Hedayat, Chubak, Daneshvar, Al-e Ahmad, Alavi, Parsipur, Ravanipur, Dowlatabadi, Golshiri, Taraghi, and Pirzad, with English translations to supplement the Persian originals. Through this survey, students will learn about the historical development of the Persian short story over the last hundred years, develop a vocabulary for reading and discussing prose works in Persian, and consider various theoretical and comparative approaches to the study of modern Persian literature. The final weeks of the semester will be "students' choice": having gotten a lay of the land, we will as a group select one or two short stories and/or novellas to read in-depth. This way, students can leverage the class to explore issues of particular interest to them.

Course Requirements:

Coursework consists of regular reading assignments; short in-class summaries in Persian of stories read; occasional vocabulary quizzes; a final in Persian; and a paper in English (this may consist of a literary biography/thematic analysis of a particular author; a historical or comparative analysis of the Persian short story; and/or a translation and critical analysis of a particular short story). Secondary readings will be conducted primarily in English, with class discussions in both English and in Persian.

Intended Audience:

This course is for students who have completed at least two years of PERSIAN coursework (or its equivalent) and want to keep improving their language skills. Course topics include the aesthetics of the Persian short story and its relation to European and world literature; literature as political expression and social critique; sociology of modern Persian literature; dynamics of censorship and state; emergence of women authors and feminine narration; and fiction of the "underground" and diaspora.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings (seminar) weekly. This is a reading and discussion course.

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning. Students will need to be available for virtual class meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30-10am.


PERSIAN 504 - Modern Persian Fiction
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM

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