Persian StudiesMarch CalendarDigitial Stories

Upcoming Events

March 5, Easkey Britton, "Waves of Freedom: How Surfing is Bridging Barriers in Iran and Women are Leading the Way"

March 8
March 8,
"Norouz, Persian New Year", A concert of classical and folk Persian music to celebrate Norouz and Arrival of Spring

Through Different Eyes
March 12, "Through Different Eyes", a photography exhibit and collaboration between SJSU photography students at SJSU and students at Alzahara University in Tehran, Iran 

March 18, A lecture with Kazim Ali, "Re-Visioning Sohrab Sepehri and Other Adventures in Poetic Translation"

Persian Language Classes 

Persian Courses

SJSU is offering two sections of Persian language/culture. These courses, made possible with a grant from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, will enable both matriculated and non-matriculated student (register through Open University), to receive 3 units for beginning and intermediate Persian. For information, contact naciem.nikkhah
 or call 408 924-4476


Roshan Institute Lecture Series
Spring 2015 Events

Roshan Institute Lecture Series
(click to enlarge schedule flyer)

Dear Friends of Persian Studies at San José State University:

Welcome to the spring 2015 semester. We are delighted to let you know about the exciting events and programs we are hosting this semester as part of Roshan Lecture Series. We have a full month this March with events, programs, and exhibits that illustrate the dynamism and creativity of artists, writers, and musicians, from both Iran and those connected to Iran through their work. The first event of the semester, March 5, 2015 , is a film-screening and discussion with Irish Big-Wave surfer, Easkey Britton, who will screen her film “Into the Sea” as part of International Women’s Day celebrations on campus. Ms. Britton spent several months in Iran in 2011 and 2012 in the province of Baluchistan teaching women and men to surf in this remote part of southern Iran that borders Pakistan. In addition to screening her film, Ms. Britton will talk about how “surfing is bridging barriers in Iran and women are leading the way.” The film-screening and talk will be in room 225 of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at 5 pm, reception to follow.

March is of course the month of spring and we hope you’ll join us for our annual Norouz concert. This year,  join us for a Norouz celebration with a musical performance by Andisheh Jahanbin (setar) and Azadeh Farpour held on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2 pm at the SJSU Student Union Theater. This event is free and open to the public.

 “Through Different Eyes”—a photography exhibit and collaboration between SJSU photography students at SJSU and students at Alzahara University in Tehran, Iran is another exciting project for our spring semester. “Through Different Eyes” another project made possible with the support of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, is a year-long project initiated and directed by Naciem Nikkhah (lecturer, Persian) and Professor Robin Lasser (Photography/Art & Design) which began in the fall 2014 semester. This exciting project enlisted students at SJSU and Alzahara University in Tehran, Iran, who learned about each others countries, communities, and photography courses and whose work in their respective photography classes will part of an exhibition at each university. The opening reception of the exhibit at San José State University is on March 12, 2015 at 6:30pm in the Jennifer and Philip Dinapoli Gallery in the second floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at SJSU. The exhibit will be up throughout March and April and is open to the public during regular library hours. The closing reception will feature a lecture by Professor of Photography, Fereshteh Dianat of Alzahra University in Tehran and will be held in Room 255 at the Dr. Martin  Luther King, Jr. Library on April 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm.

Acclaimed poet and translator, Kazim Ali, will be our featured literary event for Roshan Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 18 at 7 pm in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. “Re-Visioning Sohrab Sepehri and Other Adventures in Poetic Translation will feature reading of Sepehri and other poetry by Ali. The event, held in the library, and co-sponsored by the Center for Literary Arts, the Department of English & Comparative Literature, and Poetry Center San Jose.

We hope you’ll join you for some or all of these wonderful Roshan Lecture Series events for the spring. If you have any questions, please contact, Dr. Shahin Gerami, Director, Persian Studies by emailing her at: (Please note, Dr. Persis Karim is on sabbatical 2014-2015.) We thank our friends and co-sponsors, as well as Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute for making our campus and community a place to discover and celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Iran and its diaspora community.

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, Lily Sarafan, and Sarah AghazadehWe hope that you will share Iranian American Voices of Silicon Valley with others.