Persian StudiesSpring 2017Digitial Stories

"A Life in Film" — Remembering Global FilmMaker Abbas Kiarostami

— Film-screening and discussion with San Francisco's own Ahmad Kiarostami (son of the late director) and Hossein Khowsrojah

February 16, 2017, 7pm
Hammer Center Theater
101 Paseo San Antonio, San Jose, CA


Spring 2017 Calendar of Events

spring 2017

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.


Persian Studies Logo

Dear Friends of SJSU Persian Studies:

We wish you a happy new year and welcome you the Spring 2017 semester. We have a wonderful schedule of programs and events for this spring, and very much hope you can attend any or all of these exciting lectures, readings, and events. The first upcoming event on February 16 at 7 PM at the Hammer Theatre is a celebration of the life and films of Iranian and global filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami, who passed away in Paris in July 2016. "A Life in Film" will celebrate Kiarostami's monumental contribution to film, arts, and the sensitive and humane vision of Iran which garnered him international acclaim. This event will feature a film-screening with his son, Ahmad Kiarostami (who will share rare film footage from his father's oeuvre), and a discussion between Mr. Kiarostami and Hossein Khowsrojah, a Kiarostami scholar, and professor at California College of the Arts. The event is free for students with IDs, and $10 for the general public. You must attain tickets at the Hammer Theatre (near the SJSU campus) at:

In March, we will host Iranian-American poet and translator, Sholeh Wolpe, whose brand-new translation of Attar's Conference of the Birds (from Persian) is publshed this month from Norton. Ms. Wolpe will read from her new translation and you may purchase books and get them signed on March 14 at 7 PM in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (room 255). To mark the arrival of spring and Norouz, we will host our annual Norouz concert with master santour player, Mahvash Guerami, accompanied by Bay Area singer/percussionist, Hossein Massoudi. This event will take place at 2 pm on Sunday, March 19, in the SJSU Student Union Theatre and is free to the public. We will have a haft-sinn and tea and cookies.


In April we will host "Iranian Identity," a lecture with Dr. Professor Nasrin Rahimieh, whose new book, Iranian Identity, was published last year. Dr. Rahimieh is a noted scholar of Persian and comparative literature and will share her new work with us on Thursday, April 13 at 7 pm in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

All events, except for "A Life in Film" are free to the general public. We look forward to seeing you at these exciting events and hope you'll share these fliers with others. Now more than ever, we need to engage our society with culture, the arts, and education to build bridges. Join us!

With best wishes,

Dr. Persis Karim
Director, Persian Studies, San Jose State


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.