Persian StudiesDigitial StoriesFall 2016

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
Fall, 2016

Dear Friends of SJSU Persian Studies: 

Welcome back from the summer and to another exciting year of Persian Studies events at San Jose State University.

This fall we'll have a variety of speakers, events, and programs that we hope will give you the opportunity to more seriously engage with Iran, Persian language and Iranian culture at a critical time when the US and Iran have signed a nuclear agreement that paves the wave for renewed possibilities of exchange, engagement, and understanding. Once again, we will be offering beginning Persian language this fall with Dr. Shayan Afshar.

The class is open to both matriculated and non-matriculated students (through SJSU Open University). The class is a basic Persian language course that also features other cultural aspects--music, poetry, and daily interaction. We have a number of scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students. Please contact Dr. Persis Karim (director) for more information about applying (

Additionally, this fall semester, with the support of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, we will be hosting an exciting conference (Oct. 21, 2016) at SJSU titled, "Engaging Iran and the Iranian Diaspora after the Nuclear Agreement: Opportunities and Challenges."

The one-day conference held at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library on campus features a keynote address with Dr. Juan Cole of the University of Michigan (author of Engaging the Muslim World and the blog, "Informed Comment"), an expert on Iranian history as well as an analyst of current events in Iran and the Middle East on Thursday, October 20th.

The conference features several panels from local and national experts and scholars that focus on "Humanities and Arts," "Foreign Policy," "Education and Academia" as well as "Business and Technology."

The conference is free and open to the public. The evening of the 21st of October features the world premiere of a dramatic adaptation of the novel, Together Tea, by Marjan Kamali, written and directed by SJSU Professor Matthew Spangler. The one-woman show features Bay Area acclaimed actress, Leyla Modirzadeh.

More details about the conference will be posted here soon with a full calendar of the semester's speakers and events. In the meantime, we wish you a fruitful autumn and hope to see you at our upcoming events. All events and programs are open to the public and made possible with a generosity of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute. Stay tuned!

For more information, follow us on our Facebook page.

And happy Mehregan! 

Dr. Persis Karim, Director
SJSU Persian Studies 

SJSU Persian Studies Fall 2016



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.