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“State, Religion and Literary Production Under the Islamic Republic of Iran,” by Fatemeh Shams, CMS Seminar Series

Monday, September 9, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Morrill Hall, 404
Cornell University Dept, 159 Central Avenue, Morrill Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA

Patrons and Leaders, throughout Iran’s history have leveraged the country’s language to build a protective wall, the vital importance of which was perpetuated by a deeply engrained literary culture. The Islamic Republic has been no exception in this regard. Alongside an unflinching focus on Islam as one of two main pillars of national Iranian identity, as it appears in Ali Khamenei’s commentaries, Persian language and poetry have become the second integral part of the ideological state apparatus in post-revolutionary Iran. In recent years, amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States and serious concerns over the potential for military conflict, Persian language and poetry have once again been called upon as a unifying factor. There is, however, still a lacuna in the existing scholarship to address the ways in which this turn towards poetry as a protective shield for a political regime has been implemented. In this talk, I will highlight some of the most important state mechanisms in the institutionalization of poetry over the past four decades. 

Fatemeh Shams is a Assistant Professor of Persian Literature, in the Deparmtent of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Near Eastern Studies, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Anthropology, Government, Sociology, Romance Studies, Comparative Literature, Development Sociology, Comparative Muslim Societies Program, Global Learning, Global Cornell

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Eric Tagliacozzo, Program Director

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(607) 254-6564


Fatemeh Shams, Assistant Professor, Persian Literature Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

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University of Pennsylvania

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