Persian StudiesFall 2015Digitial Stories

Persian Language Classes 


Persian 1B


Dr. Shayan Afshar will be teaching elementary Persian at SJSU during the Spring 2016 semester. For information on enrolling or to apply for a scholarship, please contact Dr. Persis Karim at:




Upcoming Events

November 18, 2015, 6:30pm
A Film Screening of "Fifi Howls with Happiness" – A Film by Mitra Farahani about the life and art of acclaimed Iranian artist Bahman Mohassess
With a discussion with Marjaneh Moghimi, Producer of "Fifi Howls with Happiness"

Fifi Howls from Happiness

Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora
Video Project

Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora
"Cultures of the Iranian Diaspora"
The conference was a wonderful gathering of visual artists, filmmakers, writers, and musicians, who gathered to share their work and to discuss the ways that Iranian culture is being translated, articulated, and evolved in its North American context.

Roshan Institute Lecture Series
Fall 2015 Events

Roshan Institute Lecture Series Fall 2015
(click to enlarge schedule flyer)

Dear Friends of Persian Studies:

Welcome back to San Jose State University and a semester filled with exciting events, programs, and opportunities. We look forward to an opportunity to enrich the conversation about Iran, Persian culture, and after an exciting summer of negotiations that has led to a breakthrough agreement on Iran's nuclear program, and sets a potential new course for diplomacy, friendship and understanding. We see this as an even more important reason why Persian Studies at San Jose State University can play a vital role in the conversation about Iran, and about understanding between our two nations. 

This fall we have an exciting schedule of programs and events as part of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Lecture Series which we hope you'll take the time to attend, tell others about. The first event of the semester is a lecture/discussion with illustrator, graphic artist, Daniel Burwen, who is the co-author of Operation Ajax, a graphic nonfiction book about the 1953 CIA-backed coup d'etat that overthrew Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Other events include a poetry reading with Soraya Shalforoosh, a film screening of "Fifi Howls from Happiness" a documentary film about Iranian artist Bahman Mohassas, and a celebration of Mehregan (the autumn festival at the Cupertino Community Center)  and Shab-e-Yalda at the local Yeganeh Bakery in San Jose (more information forthcoming).  We invite you to peruse our calendar, download it and share it with others. In addition to teaching beginning Persian this fall semester (see flyer), we are excited to have Dr. Shayan Afshar as the instructor. Dr. Afshar comes to San Jose State University with a wealth of experience and knowledge about Persian language and literature as well as considerable experience as a university instructor. The class meets on Tuesday and Thursday, and is open to SJSU matriculated as well as non-matriculated students. Please register by contacting the professor at: (please put SJSU Persian in subject heading). 

In addition, we are administering a survey to determine our impact, success, and ways to improve and develop the future of Persian Studies. We invite you to find more about it, and participate. We need your feedback. Please contact Dr. Persis Karim, Director Persian Studies with any questions you have:

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events and programs and wish you a productive and engaging autumn. 

Remember to follow changes on our website and follow us on Facebook (Persian Studies at SJSU).

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute


Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley
A Digital Storytelling Project


Digital Storytelling

Persian Studies at San Jose State University is happy to announce the public launch of the "Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley" project, a digital storytelling project initiated and directed by Persian Studies founding director Dr. Persis Karim. This project was the result of a grant from Cal Humanities and the Community Stories project which aims to support innovative projects that highlight California's diverse ethnic, racial and immigrant populations. With the assistance of Clint Gilbert of the Center for Digital Storytelling. "Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley" involved extensive interviews with members of the Iranian American community and their willingness to share their stories, photos and memories. These stories and the people who share their narratives are part of the fabric and color of Silicon Valley and their contributions are part of the uniqueness of California and this region.

Featuring ten stories about the pioneering and important work and lives of these Iranian-Americans: Zohre Elahian, Nahal Iravani-Sani, Mo Gorjestani, Azin Izadifar, Shirindokht Nourmanesh, Hashem Kardevani, Niloufar S., and Sarah AghazadehWe hope that you will share Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley with others.