2012-2013 Annual Report from Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at UMD
Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park reported a high level of academic and cultural programming during 2012-2013. Under the leadership of its new Director, Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz (Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies), the Institute enjoyed strong enrollment in Persian Studies, awarded its first graduate fellowship, and offered a number of distinguished programs.
These events engaged the university community and brought increased attention to the major role of the Roshan Institute in contributing to the intellectual and cultural life on campus. Other events during the year included “An Evening With Rumi: Persian Mystical Poetry and Music,” a reading by poet Hushang Ebtehaj, the Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series featuring Professor Carl W. Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the Institute’s first Iranian film festival, Festival Cinema Invisible, and International Women’s Day Celebration with writer Shahrnush Parsipur.
New Executive Program Officer
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Kim as its Executive Program Officer. Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Kim acquired several years of experience in grants management through positions held at the Musée du Louvre in Paris and at American Friends of the Louvre in New York. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and French from Wellesley College, and a B.A. in Art History and a M.A. in Museum Management from the École du Louvre in Paris. The RCHI board of directors is delighted to welcome Ms. Kim to her new role and is convinced that her experience and enthusiasm will be valuable assets for the Institute’s continuing work.
Sadat Lecture: Peace Through Compassion: Connecting a Multi-Faith World
Roshan Dialogue: A Meeting of Two Oceans: Dialogue on Sufism and Buddhism
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Grant to East West Center: Voices of Afghanistan
Roshan Institute is happy to announce a grant to East West Center in support of the performing arts project, “Voices of Afghanistan”. This project illustrates that Afghanistan is home to an impressive array of musical genres. Each is distinct, yet they all share a vibrancy and depth indicative of their importance in the larger fabric of society. The lasting significance of the ghazals (Sufi poetic songs), folk songs, and traditional melodies to be performed reflect their ability to speak to our very human need for love, grace, and transcendence.
Roshan Institute New Student Fellow: Safoura Norbakhsh at the University of Maryland
Roshan Institute would like to congratulate our new fellow, Safoura Norbakhsh for receiving the Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland conducting research on gender and sexuality in Persian Sufism.
Grant to Persepolis Fortification Archive Project
Roshan Institute is pleased to establish a Summer Fellowships Program at University of Chicago in connection with Persepolis Fortification Archive Project. The Persepolis Fortification Archive Project is a new phase in recording and distributing the information that brings about these changes, using electronic equipment and media alongside the conventional tool-kits of philology and scholarship.
Grant to Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran Project: A Digital Archive and Website
Roshan Institute is happy to announce a grant to Harvard University, supporting a development of a Digital Archive and a Website for Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran. The goal of Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran is to address a gap in scholarship and understanding of the lives of women during the Qajar era (1786 - 1925) in Iran by developing a comprehensive digital resource that preserves, links, and renders accessible primary-source materials related to the social and cultural history of women's worlds in Qajar Iran.
UNC Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is delighted to announce that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Arts and Sciences Foundation is the recipient of an endowment fund called, “Roshan Institute Fund for Excellence in Persian Studies.” This significant grant will be used to provide fellowships for graduate students in the Persian Program at UNC Chapel Hill..
A short film about Iran
A short film about Iran by Iranian Student Association (ISA) at Pennsylvania State University. The film is from different regions of Iran with their own unique architect and music. This film was made recently and shown at Penn State on March 30, 2013.
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute would like to share with you the joy of celebrating Noruz, the Persian New Year 1392, wishing Peace and Joy to all. Noruz, literally means New Day and is based on the celebration of the Vernal Equinox around March 20 to 21. See the following link for a full entertaining version of the history behind this 3500y old celebration connected to Persian Empire.
H.H. Dalai Lama @UMD
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland will welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to campus on Tuesday, May 7th. H.H. will be the latest in a long-list of world leaders to deliver the prestigious Anwar Sadat Lecture for Peace in the morning on "Peace Through Compassion: Connecting a Multi-Faith World". In the afternoon His Holiness will participate in a dialogue on "A Meeting of Two Oceans: Dialogue on Sufism and Buddhism" organized by Roshan Institute of Persian Studies. In a letter to our Founder & President Elahe Omidyar Mir-djalali, the University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh expressed: "I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to you for your role in bringing His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to our campus in May." "Now you have offered a strong vote of confidence in the University to carry out one of its most important responsibilities as a public university: to encourage rich and deep public discussion of the most compelling and complex issues of our time."
Book Signing, Presentation & Reception: Wednesday March 20th, in Celebration of Nowruz, Graghic Artist Hamid Rahmanian, Showcases His New Edition of the "Shahnameh"
The Near East Section The African Middle Eastern Division The Library of Congress Invites you To Celebrate Nowruz with graphic artist and filmmaker, Hamid Rahmanian, Who will present an innovative version of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (“The Epic of the Persian Kings”) Based on illustrations from thousands of Iranian, Mughal Indian, and Ottoman manuscriptsHamid Rahmanian, from Shahnameh: The Epic of the Persian Kings.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Program, Book Signing & Reception 12 noon to 2 p.m.
The African Middle Eastern Reading Room
10 First Street, S.E.
For Information contact: Hirad Dinavari (202) 707-4518 or email@example.com
Please allow time to clear security
Request ASL and ADA accommodation five days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
The Democracy Fund
Another exciting initiative, The Democracy Fund, was launched by Director on our Board, Pierre Omidyar on January 15th, 2013. The Democracy Fund will address the ongoing work of improving the political system/process in the United States. For further detail on the mission and vision of The Democracy Fund see the links below
Inside eBay's founder Pierre Omidyar's Battle To End Human Trafficking
Pierre Omidyar looked out over Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley this past February, scanning the horizon with his camera in hand. All the billionaire eBay founder could see for miles were huge, belching chimneys taller than houses and mountains of red bricks drying in the winter sun. Kids of 12 or 13 lugged bricks on their backs to and from these ovens, 80 pounds at a time. Ninety percent of the workers here in Bhaktapur, the heart of Nepal’s brick sector, are slaves. Day after day they incur more debt to the traffickers who found them these jobs and hovels to live in nearby.
Congratulations to Roshan Institute New Student Fellows
The Institute would like to congratulate to our new fellows, Golbarg Rekabtalaei and Matthew T. Miller, for their exemplary accomplishments in promoting Persian Culture. Golbarg Rekabtalaei is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto conducting research on historiography of Cinema in Modern Iran. Matthew Miller is a Ph.D. candidate conducting research on the 13th century Sufi poet Fakhr al-Din Eraqi, at Washington University in Saint Louis. The Institute wishes them continued success in preserving and promoting Persian cultural and intellectual heritage.
Professor Kamran Talattof's new book selected as a Choice Outstanding Title
Dr. Kamran Talattof's 2011 book, "Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran: the Life and Legacy of a Popular Female Artist," was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and was announced in January 2012 issue of Choice Magazine. The Latifeh Yarshater Award Committee has also unanimously chosen Karmran Talattof’s Modernity, Sexuality, and Ideology in Iran: the Life and Legacy of a Popular Female Artist, and Farzaneh Milani’s Words, Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement both published by the University of Syracuse Press in 2011, as joint recipients of the 2012 award. Kamran Talattof is professor of Persian and Middle Eastern and North African Studies at University of Arizona. Here is a link to Dr. Talattof's award-winning book:
New Book: The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History by Professor Touraj Daryaee
This Handbook is a current, comprehensive single-volume history of Iranian civilization. The authors, all leaders in their fields, emphasize the large-scale continuities of Iranian history while also describing the important patterns of transformation that have characterized Iran's past. Each of the chapters focuses on a specific epoch of Iranian history and surveys the general political, social, cultural, and economic issues of that era. The ancient period begins with chapters considering the anthropological evidence of the prehistoric era, through to the early settled civilizations of the Iranian plateau, and continuing to the rise of the ancient Persian empires. The medieval section first considers the Arab-Muslim conquest of the seventh century, and then moves on to discuss the growing Turkish influence filtering in from Central Asia beginning in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The last third of the book covers Iran in the modern era by considering the rise of the Safavid state and its accompanying policy of centralization, the introduction of Shi'ism, the problems of reform and modernization in the Qajar and Pahlavi periods, and the revolution of 1978-79 and its aftermath. The book is a collaborative exercise among scholars specializing in a variety of sub-fields, and across a number of disciplines, including history, art history, classics, literature, politics, and linguistics. Here, readers can find a reliable and accessible narrative that can serve as an authoritative guide to the field of Iranian studies
Rumi Scholar to Lead UMD's Roshan Institute for Persian Studies
The University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities has appointed Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz director of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies (Roshan Center) as well as the Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies in order to extend teaching, research and outreach for Persian language, literature, history and culture in the region and beyond. Dr. Keshavarz plans to focus her attention on raising the academic profile of the center on and off campus and producing the next generation of leaders in the field of Persian studies.
An Evening With Rumi: Persian Mystical Poetry and Music
The “Roshan Institute” Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland and the National Geographic Present An Evening With Rumi: Persian Mystical Poetry and Music
Rumi contributed to the development of Sufism, a mystical Islamic tradition symbolized by whirling dervishes, through his passionate and profound poetry infused with the divine. Fatemeh Keshavarz, Rumi scholar and Director of the Roshan Institute Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, will speak and read from his work, accompanied by music performed by Hossein Omoumi, a master of the ney, an end-blown flute; vocalist Jessika Kenny; and musicians Amir Koushkani and Hamin Honari.
Congratulations to Professor Keshavarz
Fatemeh Keshavarz, born and raised in the city of Shiraz, completed her studies in Shiraz University, and University of London. She taught at Washington University in St. Louis for over twenty years where she chaired the Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from 2004 to 2011. In 2012, Keshavarz joined the University of Maryland as the Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Language and Literature, and Director of the Roshan Institute Center for Persian Studies.
Louvre Islamic Art New Wing
Louvre museum opens its new wing and galleries dedicated to Islamic art to the public on September 22, 2012. The creation of a new wing dedicated to Islamic art at the Louvre represents a decisive phase in the architectural history of the palace and in the development of the museum. With a roof designed to look like a floating sheet of silk, is the most important architectural feat since its glass pyramid. The new gallery allows the museum to properly display the most exceptional collections of Islamic art in the world, owing to its geographic diversity, the historical periods covered, and the wide variety of materials and techniques represented. Read More:
James E. Alatis, Dean emeritus of the School of Languages and Linguistics (SLL), will retire this year after an extraordinary 45 years of service to Georgetown University that began when he joined the Linguistics department in 1966. In 1973, he was named Dean of the SLL, a post he held for over two decades. As dean, Alatis played a critical role in attracting grant support and other resources that helped build key academic areas for which Georgetown is still widely known, among them the program in sociolinguistics, the Georgetown Roundtable on Languages and Linguistics (GURT), and bringing distinguished faculty members to the SLL. He also never tired of teaching and advocating for the Modern Greek Program, which he had founded upon his arrival in 1966. Alatis wrote, edited, or co-edited more than twenty volumes and published over forty articles on bilingualism, language policy, and language teaching. Among his many distinguished career highlights was Alatis’ leadership as the first executive director of TESOL – Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages – a global association of English language teaching professionals dedicated to developing and maintaining professional expertise in English language teaching worldwide. His contributions to the field are celebrated by the annual James E. Alatis Award for Service to TESOL.
New Board Member Announcement
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce the addition of a new member to its Board of Director. The current Directors and Officers of the Institute are delighted to welcome Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw to that function. We are confident that her background and expereince will be extremely valuable in advancing the Institute’s mission. Dr. Hinshaw currently serves as Chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at MÄÂÂÂnoa. She previously served as provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of California, Davis. Before joining UC Davis in 2001, she served as dean of the Graduate School and vice chancellor for research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce the addition of the new board member, Dr. Virginia S. Hinshaw.
New Book Announcement
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce the translation and publication of ‘Ancient Iran from the Air’ by Roshan Institute Fellows, David Stronach and Ali Mousavi. “This book features many of the exceptional landscapes and monuments of Iran as seen through the lens of the world's foremost aerial photographers, George Gerster. The photographs, which were taken between 1976 and 1978, are presented in six chapters, each authored by one or more scholars of international repute, and the work as a whole is edited by two of the main contributors, David Stronach and Ali Mousavi. Ancient Iran from the Air takes the reader on an aerial odyssey that explores the country's infinitely varied landscapes; many of the more noted sites associated with Iran’s rich prehistoric past; the capitals of the Achaemenid and Sasanian empires; the memorable monuments of Saljuk and Safavid Isfahan; and, last but not least, on a journey that celebrates the age-old virtues of Iran's largely unsung vernacular mud-brick architecture.”
FLY ZONE Shahla Arbabi
FLY ZONE strives to express the voice of the civilian during conflict. Each image is powerful and, at times, painful to consider. Here the silent witness of war is considered, and as viewers we are forced to consider their defenselessness and fragility. It is in that reflection that we begin to empathize and acknowledge our own vulnerability and theirs. Shahla Arbabi is a painter and mixed media artist whose work has been featured in over thirty solo and over forty group exhibitions. She has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States, both in private galleries and in such prestigious venues as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Her work has been the subject of numerous studies of contemporary painting and can be found in more than two dozen private and public collections, including the permanent holdings of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, of the Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies, as well as The Washington Post and of the Carnegie Institute.
Common People, Common Places
There are people in this world who might never be photographed, people you may never see, nor hear of. Nevertheless they, like you, have special lives and riveting stories. These photographs are of everyday people, people who are more like you than you might think. They cry, laugh, dream, and feel the same emotions as you do. They are special too and deserve fair representation. The goal of this exhibit is to provide a perspective into a different place; a perspective that is rarely available and accessible here. The exhibit provides glimpses of a people who are often misrepresented and misunderstood. This exhibition is not the final goal, but only one step in a long journey for creating communication and understanding between people who have been separated by political and cultural differences.
EBay's Omidyar works for philanthropy
EBay's billionaire founder and proponent of good works was addressing a roomful of White House Fellows in a closed-door question-and-answer session last month, hours before President Obama's State of the Union address, when a query stumped him: What do you hope to accomplish the rest of your life?
Omidyar, 44, looked down, contemplatively, then fixed his eyes on the questioner. "We live a comfortable life, but relationships are what make a life rich," he said. Omidyar, a member of the president's Commission on White House Fellowships, touched on a mix of causes that include media democracy, education and the difference between charity ("a quick solution") and philanthropy ("systemic changes to long-term problems").
Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy
The Institute is honored to announce that Roshan director Pierre Omidyar, and his wife Pam, have been awarded the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The award is bestowed to individuals who, like Andrew Carnegie, have dedicated their private wealth to public good, and who have sustained impressive careers as philanthropists. In his remarks at the invitation-only ceremony at the New York Public Library, Mr. Omidyar reflected on their aspirations and the recognition noting, "We remain firm in our belief that people are basically good and inherently capable. That when provided with opportunity, they will accomplish amazing things. It is our great honor to do this work, and we are grateful for the privilege." A profile of the Omidyars' work was recently featured in the Huffington Post. To learn more about the award and this year's recipients, please click here.
Art Exhibit by Shahla Arbabi
Opening Reception is on January 8th, 2012, Sunday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Louvre Museum to Create Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali Fund to Underwrite New Program
"NEW YORK, NY.- American Friends of the Louvre announced that it has received a $3 million grant through the generosity of Pierre Omidyar, a member of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute’s Board of Directors and the founder and Chairman of eBay Inc. The grant will be used to create an endowment fund that will support educational and scholarly programs on Persian art and culture. The fund will be named after founder, Chair and President of Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, Dr. Elahe Omidyar Mir-Djalali..."
The sad news of passing of Dr. Hossein Ziai
It is with deep regret that we bring to friends of Persian Culture and Studies the sad news of passing of Dr. Hossein Ziai, professor of Islamic and Iranian Studies and Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA
The Institute would like to congratulate our new fellows for their exemplary accomplishments in promoting Persian Culture.
- Hani Khafipour, Department of Near Eastern Language & Civilization, University of Chicago
- Dr. Laetitia Nanquette, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Harvard
- Ida Meftahi, Department of Near & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Toronto
The Explanation of Chess and Backgammon
Congratulations to the Institute fellow, Professor Touraj Daryaee on his new publication: On the Explanation of Chess and Backgammon. Funded by Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, this book is a new volume of Persian Text Series of Late Antiquity, which aims to fill the gap between the Old Persian and Classic Persian Literature. Dr. Touraj Daryaee is the Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran at the University of California, Irvine.
The third Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series
The event organized by UMD’s “Roshan Institute” Center for Persian Studies, which will be held at UMD during the week of November 14, 2011. This year, the Third Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series will feature the renowned art historian Professor Priscilla Soucek of New York University, who will speak on the topic The Bibliophile Impulse in Iranian Art and Culture. You can find more information on the attached brochure; following is a short list of the lectures’ times, titles, and venues:
Lecture One: Laying a Foundation: the Religious Tradition; 2-4 PM Monday Nov. 14, McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6137 McKeldin Library, UMD
Lecture Two: Experimentation and Innovation in 13th and 14th century manuscripts; 2-4 PM Wednesday Nov. 16, McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6137 McKeldin Library, UMD
Lecture Three: Narrative and Biography: Princely Manuscripts in the 14th and 15th centuries; 2-4 PM Thursday Nov. 17, McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6137 McKeldin Library, UMD
Lecture Four: Painters as Interpreters: Expanding the Boundaries of a Tradition; 4-6 PM Saturday Nov. 19, Howard Frank Auditorium Van Munching Hall,www.rhsmith.umd.edu/about/directions.aspx, 1524 The Robert H. Smith School of Business, UMD – Reception will follow