Intensive Summer Program 2021: Understanding Modern Iran through Film and Literature
(the course is currently planned as an in-person program but it may be moved online in response to Covid-19 restrictions, please check for updates)
July 5–August 13, 2021
Times: Monday through Friday, 4-7h per day
Duration: 6 weeks, 150+ hours of instruction
This intensive summer course is designed for students who have already attained upper intermediate or advanced level of Persian and would like not only to improve their language skills further but also gain a deeper understanding of the culture of modern Iran. The course will last six weeks, and every week will be devoted to particular topics, such as politics and the regime, gender and sexuality, family, migration, tradition and modernity, education and educational systems, language, literature, arts and censorship etc. Every day in the morning (9 am–1 pm) students will be reading and discussing works of modern Persian prose related to the topics of the week and twice per week in the evenings (7–10 pm) they will attend film screenings. Each screening will be prefaced with a short introductory lecture by one of the instructors and followed by a curated discussion. The list of films includes both classics of Iranian cinematography and lesser-known films. All discussions will be held in Persian, and participants of the program can expect not only to significantly expand their vocabulary but also to make a great progress in their speaking and aural comprehension skills.
Works of the following authors will be covered in the program: Mohammad-Ali Jamalzadeh,
Abbas Maroufi, Ebrahim Golestan, Bozorg Alavi, Mahmoud Golabdarehi, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Bahram Sadeghi, Sadegh Hedayat, Houshang Golshiri, Zoya Pirzad, Sadeq Chubak, Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Mahmoud, Ahmad Mahmoud, Nader Ebrahimi, Morteza Moshfegh Kazemi, Samad Behrangi, Simin Daneshvar, and Gholam-Hossein Sa'edi.
The Report (1977) Abbas Kiarostami
The Night It Rained (1967) Kamran Shirdel
Brick and Mirror (1964) Ebrahim Golestan
Beehive (1975) Fereydun Gole
Parviz (2012) Majid Barzegar
Mum's Guest (2004) Dariush Mehrjui
Coup 53 (2019) Taghi Amirani
P Like Pelican (1972) Parviz Kimiavi
Tehran Has No More Pomegranates! (2006) Massoud Bakhshi
White Nights (2003) Farzad Motamen
Fish & Cat (2013) Shahram Mokri
The Hunter (2010) Rafi Pitts
The Cow (1969) Dariush Mehrjui
Iran Is My Land (1999) Parviz Kimiavi
Please apply by filling out this form. The deadline to apply is May 10, 2021. The deadline to pay the fees is May 31, 2021.
The course fee is $1500. The fees are to be paid as a donation made through a bank transfer. This course is planned as an in-person program but of course is subject to possible changes in response to the epidemiological situation in Armenia and in the world. If the program is cancelled after the payment deadline, the fees, excluding international transfer commission, will be returned to the applicants.
Mejlis Institute is a non-profit organization. All funds collected will be used to pay the salaries of the instructors, and any surplus will be invested in the development of our future programs. A portion of the proceeds will be used to support a local charity in Armenia. A report on the usage of the funds collected through the course will be presented to course participants upon request.
The applicants who wish to attend the course but cannot afford to pay the course fees can be issued a partial or full fee waiver. To request a waiver, please send us an e-mail separately after filling the application form and arrange for a reference letter to be sent from your academic supervisor or another mentor who can attest to your merit and the situation of financial need. Since students’ donations constitute our main source of funding, we encourage applicants to consider applying for scholarships offered by their universities or seek other forms of external funding prior to applying for tuition waivers.
Maryam Torabi is a scholar of Medieval Armenian and Persian literary traditions. Having studied Armenian and Persian literature in Isfahan, Maryam came to Armenia to work on her doctoral dissertation, which she is currently completing in the Department of Linguistics at Yerevan State University. She focuses on the language of the eighteenth-century poet Sayat-Nova exploring his engagement with Persian poetry. Apart from teaching Persian in Yerevan and Armenian in Isfahan, she has formerly served as the librarian of the Blue Mosque in Yerevan.
Shauheen Daneshfar is a filmmaker, still photographer and cinematographer.
In 2011 he completed his training at the Iranian Young Cinema Society and after having worked on numerous film projects as director, cinematographer, production manager etc. he obtained his BA in Cinematography at Tehran University of Art in 2018. In 2016 he served as the director of the 12thNahal Student Short Film Festival. Currently he is completing his MFA in Film and Media program at Stockholm University of the Arts.
Bashir Sayyah is a journalist and film critic based in Tehran. After receiving a BA in English Literature he studied Theatre Directing at Tehran University of Art. He writes for Filmkhaneh and Cinema-va-Adabiat magazines and contributes to several translation projects that aim to make western film criticism accessible to wide audiences in Iran.