Our Mission

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The Persian Studies program (formerly called "Iranian Studies" and renamed to reflect a larger perspective that includes Persian-speaking communities outside of Iran) at San Jose State University was established in March 2011 with a generous grant from the PARSA Community Foundation in order to initiate teaching, research and scholarship that will enable us to serve the students and surrounding community of Silicon Valley. The goals and vision of Persian Studies is to draw on the intellectual and cultural resources of SJSU and the Silicon Valley community to offer an interdisciplinary approach to understanding Iran, Persian culture and language, and to move beyond the boundaries of Iran to include an appreciation and study of other Persian-speaking communities, including those of the Iranian Diaspora. Located at a major public university, we seek to build a program that offers the opportunity for students to encounter Persian language and culture, and to highlight and conduct research on the Iranian-American experience in North America and the Silicon Valley. 

Since 2011, Persian Studies at SJSU has hosted numerous cultural programs, lectures, film-screenings, and concerts, and has in the fall of 2012 launched the teaching of Persian language for matriculated and non-matriculated students. We have also initiated several research projects (see our projects menu), that highlight the unique contributions and experiences and concerns of the Silicon Valley's Iranian- American community. With the support of SJSU alumni, community members, and private and public foundation resources, we seek to establish a formal Center for Persian Studies and Culture (an organized research unit) that can be a clearing house for the study of Iran, Persianate societies and culture, and the Iranian Diaspora. This Center will provide the rich intellectual, cultural, and academic resources to develop a richer and more nuanced understanding of Iran and Persian culture and its contributions to world civilizations as well as to build and promote knowledge about the Iranian Diaspora worldwide with an emphasis on California and the United States. 

We welcome your support, ideas, and resources and hope to more fully engage the SJSU community and the larger Silicon Valley in the efforts to create a wellspring of knowledge and appreciation for a much under-studied culture. We seek community and business partners to help us as we undertake the ambitious effort to build the Center for Persian Studies and Culture which will both preserve and build knowledge about Iran and Persian culture for future generations. 

Persian Studies at SJSU was made possible with a generous grant from the PARSA Community Foundation (in collaboration with Iran Heritage Foundation America) received in 2011 and is supported with a grant from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, received in January 2013.

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